The earliest records about the Castle date back to 1187, perhaps of earlier Byzantine-Lombard fortifications. Past under different rulers, from 1448 Carrara Castle is the princely residence of the small independent state, linked to the Campo Fregoso from Genoa and Sarzana. In 1473, Jacopo Malaspina chose it as principal residence, preferring it to the largest and equipped Massa Rock, extending it with courtyards, loggias and the "camera picta". From 1540 to 1549, Cardinal Innocent Cybo, Governor of Carrara, creates a new Palace-fortress in Ferrara style, with sculptures, Roman artifacts, paintings, frescoes, surrounded by a large garden adorned with marble fountains. Also he prepares the rich "Cybo Library", with illuminated manuscripts and early printed works and, in the central tower of the fortress, collects Medieval Notarial Archives of Carrara. In 1557, Alberico I Cybo-Malaspina built the second walls, together with the monumental "New Gate". Lost the old military function, the Carrara Castle remains the symbol of ducal power until 1796, then was occupied by Napoleon's troops, who will purloin sculptures and paintings, dispersing the Archives and devastating the garden. In 1806, Elisa Baciocchi-Bonaparte, Duchess of Lucca and Massa, allocates the Castle as the seat of the "Ducal Art Academy of Carrara." Still, the Castle houses some educational spaces of the Art Academy.