Luogo - Castle

Castello Maniace

Where Isola di Ortigia, Siracusa

Its name comes from Giorgio Maniace, Byzantine general who in 1038 recaptured the city from Arabs's hands. It is one of the most important monuments of the Swabian period in Syracuse and one of the most beautiful Frederick castles in Italy. Its origin is due to Emperor Frederick II, who entrusted its construction to the architect Riccardo da Lentini between 1232 and 1239. After Angevin in 1266, it was attacked and conquered by the people of Syracuse in revolt. Castle was the scene of many disputes between the barons. It declined from residence for queens to military construction and for most of the fifteenth century it was used as a prison. At the behest of the Viceroy Ferdinando Gonzaga, Castle became nodal point of the boundary walls of Ortigia until 1704, when a violent explosion of the powder magazine destroyed most of the building. In Bourbon period the Castle regained its military function and kept it until the Second World War. Returned to public use after a long restoration, Castle is home to the performances of "Ortigia Festival". Its massive quadrilateral structure incorporates four cylindrical towers at the corners. It is accessible through the carriage door and the courtyard over the bridge with side columns of Spanish era (sixteenth century), to replace the original wooden drawbridge that spanned the moat. To note, decorated marble door and a series of columns with leaves capitals.

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