Almost completely surrounded by the sea, the Angevin Castle of Gallipoli stands with its imposing bulk at the eastern end of the island that houses the ancient village. Probably built as early as the 11th century on pre-existing Roman fortifications, it was rebuilt in the 13th century in the Byzantine era.
It was remodeled several times by the conquerors who followed one another over the centuries. Positioned to guard the city and the port, once a crossroads of thriving trade, the manor has a quadrangular plan with three circular towers and a polygonal tower.
HISTORY – Built after 265 BC as a fortress for housing the legionaries and defense for the city, the Castle was destroyed or seriously damaged in the 5th century by the Vandals and the Goths. Between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, under the dominions of the Angevins and the Aragonese, it was subject to substantial changes: it was isolated by a moat on all sides and, in 1522, the corner tower was built, called the Rivellino, in the past also outdoor summer cinema.
Designed by the Sienese architect Francesco di Giorgio Martini, who worked on behalf of Alfonso II of Naples, it was built to defend the entrance way to the city and to prevent a fixed camp for any enemies who attacked from the ground. Currently, the recently restored spaces of the fortress vibrate like the whole Gallipoli village, hosting cultural events and large exhibitions.
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