Castel Nuovo

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The Castel Nuovo is one of Naples’ most prominent landmarks.  It sits conspicuously near the  Bay’s shore and close to the downtown shopping area.  If you have become sufficiently “Italianized” you will probably refer to this castle as the “Maschio Angioino”, as the locals call it.  Take a walk under the famous two-storey triumphal arch, of Renaissance style, at the castle’s enterance, which was built to commemorate the arrival of Alfonso I of Aragon to Naples.

Work began on this castle in 1279, when Charles I of Anjou ordered a castle to be built to house the court.  He did this when the capital of the Kingdom of Naples moved from Palermo to Naples.   It took 3 years to finish construction which was managed by French architects, however, the castle has undergone several reconstructions since the original.  The castle is distinguishable by its facade of tough grey stone imported from Mallorca.

In the following years after construction was complete the castle became the epicenter of important activities and events:  In 1294, in one of the castle’s halls,  Pope Celestine V resigned his position.  Less than two weeks later, also in the castle,  Boniface VIII was elected as the new pope by the cardinal collegium.

In the following years the castle came under assault many times until the Kingdom was finally annexed by Spain in 1494, at which point it was reduced to use as a military fortress.

Inside the castle’s Cappella Palatina you will find worn away traces of Giotto frescoes near the Gothic windows.  You can also visit the Museo Civico that occupies the halls on three separate floors.  There is an abundance of 14th and 15th century sculptures and frescoes, as well as 17th-20th century paintings by Neapolitan artists.

Museo Civico: 081 795 5877

Hours: Mon-Sat, 9am-7pm

Price: €5

Where: You can’t miss this coming from the hostel! Turn right out of the hostel, walk to the end of our street, look to your left.