Castle

Castel dell'Ovo

Via Eldorado, Napoli

Castel dell'Ovo is the oldest castle in the city. Stands on the gulf, in the Saint Lucia district, in front of Mergellina. The present appearance, different from the original Norman, is the result of reconstructions occurred during the Angevin and Aragonese periods. Its name comes from the tradition to which the Latin poet Virgil hid an egg in its undergrounds, on which rests the whole edifice: the breaking of the egg would result in a catastrophe for the city. The Castle stands on the islet of Megaride, which was joined to the mainland by a narrow isthmus of rock, place of foundation of the ancient Partenope in eighth century BC and venue of the House of Licinius Lucullus (hence the other name of the Castle, "Castrum Lucullanum"). The building was then the seat of the Basilian monks and, in the tenth century, of the Dukes of Naples against the Saracens. In 1140 Roger the Norman elected the Castle as his own home, with the addition of the NormandyTower. Further fortified by the Swabians, the building became the royal palace and prison. King Charles I of Anjou has brought numerous restorations and modifications, and so did the Aragonese, lowering the towers and strengthening the defensive structures. Today the castle hosts exhibitions, conferences and events; at his feet spread the marina of "Borgo Marinari" with restaurants and bars, home to prestigious sailing clubs.

Info:

Free entrance.

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