Castello di San Giorgio

Lungolago Gonzaga, Mantova

Built starting in 1395 and concluded in 1406, commissioned by Francesco I Gonzaga and project by Bartolino da Novara, St. George's Castle is a square building with four corner towers, surrounded by a moat with three drawbridges, aimed at defense of the city. Castle was for many years the residence of Isabella d'Este, who took to the court many artists and humanists (Andrea Mantegna, Perugino, Leonardo da Vinci, Ludovico Ariosto and Baldassare Castiglione) of making Mantova a major European courts and the center of art and literature. Starting from 1815, with the Austrian occupation of the city, the Castle became a maximum security prison for opponents. Inside, one of the masterpieces by Mantegna: the Bridal Chamber, wonderful room on the main floor of the north-east tower, completely painted. The paintings were made in both dry and fresh in two scenes depicting the Gonzaga family: the "Scene of the Meeting" and "Scene of the Court." Another highlight, the Stairway of Aeneas, by the Bertani 1549 that connects the Castle to the Hall of Manto in Ducal Palace. On top of the grand staircase leads to the courtyard and the inner loggia, by Luca Fancelli in 1472, designed by Andrea Mantegna.