Day 16. An Alpine Adventure: Sforzesco Castle – (Sforza Castle)


Note: I would like  to share with  you  through  these few words, photographs and hyperlinked websites, a 3 Dimensional  experience as though you were  actually there with  us. Click on any photograph and it should enlarge to a different size ….. at least half screen or size full screen. It will be clearer in detail than the photo on the post. It will be as if you were  really there looking at the actual  scene. You are an arm chair traveller with us.


Castello Sforzesco (Sforza Castle):

The Sforzesco Castle is one of Milan’s most important landmarks. It long served as a symbol of power for local and foreign rulers. At the start of the early twentieth century the castle was saved from demolition and now houses a number of civic museums.

Sfarzo Castle is an historic fortress which houses several of Milan’s best museums including the Pinacoteca del Castello Sforzesco. The original fortress on this site was constructed in 1368 and at that point it had four 80 meter long walls with square towers at the corners. Later the fortress was expanded and converted to a palace residence. With the proclamation of the Ambrosian Republic in 1447 the palace was destroyed as the people of Milan saw it as a representing the Visconti regime. One of the leaders of the new republic was Francesco Sforza who made himself Duke of Milan and had the castle rebuilt with the addition of a central 70 meter tall tower, Torre del Filarete. Sforza’s heirs made further additions and changes to the structure beginning in 1450. During the Renaissance Ludovico Sforza used the talents of Leonardo da Vinci and Donato Bramante to enhance the interior.

In the next few centuries Milan found itself ruled by foreigners and the castello was used for military purposes. Under the Spanish the castle became one of the largest citadels in Europe, a star-shaped fort was constructed with 12 bastions and the external walls were fortified and reached 3km in length. In 1861 Italy was unified and the building’s fate was in the balance. Luckily the castle was saved and converted into a civil building with many of the original features renovated and rebuilt. The castle’s reconstruction was done under the watchful eye of architect Luca Beltrami.

The complex has a quadrangular layout with three internal courtyards and several impressive towers. Each corner of the complex has four towers, there are 2 round towers on one façade, the Torre di Santi Spirito and the Torre del Carmine and two square towers on the opposite façade facing away from the city, the Torre Castellana and the Torre Falconiera. The complex is entered through the Torre del Filarete, which leads to a large inner courtyard, the Piazza d’Armi. You can see ceiling paintings by Leonardo da Vinci in the castle’s Sala Delle Asse. Castello Sforzesco is part of ‘The Last Supper’ and Sforza Castle Tour