Home > Castels > Maschio Angioino – Prices, timetable , history, info, how to get there – Castel Nuovo

Maschio Angioino – Prices, timetable , history, info, how to get there – Castel Nuovo

Tavola strozzi (flotta aragonese al ritorno della battaglia di ischia il 12 luglio 1465), 1465-1500 ca., 11982, 09 maschio angioino.JPG

It is a wonderful castle, whose origin is linked to the Middle Ages but which is to be considered as a symbol of the Neapolitan Renaissance, a period in which the monumental Triumphal Arch was built by the architect, sculptor and medallist Francesco Laurana. In that period, however, the entire castle underwent a total makeover, thanks to the work of Spanish sculptor and architect Guillem Sagrera.

Maschio Angioino

After the splendor of the Aragonese period, the castle was rearranged again by Charles of Bourbon, who in the meantime became King of Naples in 1734. It was then that the role of the castle as a royal residence was lost, in favor of the new palaces that were built in Naples and its surroundings, such as the Royal Palace in Piazza del Plebiscito, the Royal Palace of Capodimonte, the Royal Villa of Portici and the famous Royal Palace of Caserta. The castle in this way, relieved of its ancient function, became mainly a symbol of the history and excellence of Naples. Later it was renovated for the last time in the early nineteenth century by Ferdinand I of the two Sicilies, hosting for a certain period of time the arsenal of artillery and the so called pyrotechnic workshop at least until these functions were not taken by the royal factories of Torre Annunziata in 1837.

What to see in the Castle

Once you cross the threshold of the Arc de Triomphe, we are in the beautiful courtyard from which you can start our visit. With the entrance behind you, if you take a look to your left, you will notice some stairs, which will take you to the Sala dei Baroni, an architectural marvel created by Guillem Sagrera. On the tuff walls stands the beautiful vault, at the center of which, instead of the traditional key, is placed a bright oculus, from which branch off large ribs in piperno that, connecting to other minor elements, create a star design, highlighting the color contrast between the yellow tuff and gray piperno. In this room there should have been Giotto’s frescoes, of which, however, very few traces remain.

Tavola strozzi (flotta aragonese al ritorno della battaglia di ischia il 12 luglio 1465), 1465-1500 ca., 11982, 09 maschio angioino.JPG

Immediately below the Sala dei Baroni there is the so-called Sala dell’armeria, so called because of the function it was intended to perform. It is here that during some restoration work on the courtyard of the castle, important archaeological finds from the Roman era were found, now visible thanks to a floor that can be walked on and transparent under which visitors can easily explore the remains.

Palatine Chapel in Maschio Angioino

Outside this room there are several points from which to start our visit. On the side of the castle facing the sea faces the wall at the bottom of the Palatine Chapel, the only surviving element of the fourteenth-century Angevin castle. The facade of the inner courtyard has a Renaissance portal with reliefs by Andrea dell’Aquila and Francesco Laurana. The interior, illuminated by tall, narrow gothic windows, contains only a few remains of the original frescoed decoration by Maso di Banco and a ciborium by Iacopo della Pila, dating from the end of the fifteenth century.

The interior was also frescoed by Giotto around 1330, who took up the Stories of the Old and New Testaments. The content of this cycle of frescoes is almost completely lost here too, although there is still a decorative part in the structures that make up the windows.

Museo Civico in Naples

However, you have to go back to the main courtyard, and go to your left with the palatine chapel behind you to venture into the Museo Civico in Naples. A museum path inaugurated in 1990, which is spread over several levels, and which preserves an important part of the history of Naples

On the first floor there are frescoes and paintings essentially of religious commission, which we can place chronologically between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. There are paintings by great artists of the Neapolitan tradition such as Battistello Caracciolo and Fabrizio Santafede, and by masters of the Neapolitan Baroque, such as Luca Giordano, Francesco Solimena and Mattia Preti.

The second floor, on the other hand, is dedicated to all the works that go from the end of the nineteenth century to the more mature twentieth century. In these rooms the exhibition criterion is thematic: history, landscapes, portraits, views of Naples. There are works by artists such as Vincenzo Gemito and others linked to the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Naples, an institution that has been training artists for almost three centuries.

In addition, other rooms of the castle, such as the Carlo V room and the Loggia room, are used for exhibitions and temporary cultural initiatives, this makes the castle a place to see and review, an incubator of ideas related to the contemporary world as well as the undisputed symbol of Naples.

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