The Sforzesco Castle is one of the best known historical buildings in Milan. It was demolished and rebuilt many times over the centuries. Nowadays after having been restored and embellished the castle has become a symbol of the city.
In 1360 the small fortress was built close to the medieval walls of Milan. Then the fortress was turned into a family residence with a large park. Like many other Italian castles, the Sforzesco Castle was constructed on a square plan and had a tower at every corner.
In 1450 Franzesco Sforza became the Duke of Milan and then the castle was rebuilt again and from that time it became known as Sforzesco Castle. The castle was very beautiful with the majestic Filarete tower at its entrance. Later the Franzesco Sforza’s successor transformed the courtyard inside the castle and turned it into a luxury residence which was named Corte Ducale.
At the time of the Spanish rule in 1526 there was built another fortification and during Austrian domination in 1706 the castle was used solely for military purposes. It was restored several times until the assault by Napoleon troops in 1796. Severe damage was caused to the castle and the towers were completely destroyed. F. Luca Beltrami was entrusted with the task of reconstructing and restoring the old castle. The remains of old fortifications were demolished and new moats were dug all around the castle. The towers were restored and new round towers were added.
Museums in the Castle
Nowadays the Szorzesco Castle houses many libraries and museums. The best known of these is the Pinacoteca del Castello Sforzesco. The museum has a large collection of art which includes the Michelangelo’s last sculpture, the Pieta Rondanini. Other noted collections include the Codex Trivulzianus manuscript by Leonardo da Vinci and the Trivulzio Madonna by Andrea Mantegna.
Location: Piazza Castello, Milan
Nearby sights: Sempione Park, San Maurizio, Pinacoteca di Brera
How to get there: Subway: Cairoli (M1), Cadorna (M1, M2),Lanza (M2)
Nearby hotels: UNA Hotel Cusani, Style Hotel , Genius Hotel Downtown