An important crossroads between West and East, the castle of Otranto is closely related to the city walls with which it forms a single defensive system.
The Aragonese castle bears the name of the family that took care of the reconstruction after the attack by the Turks in 1480. It was, in fact, under the Duke Alfonso D’Aragona that in 1481 the castle was completely recovered. However, from the Aragonese phase only a tower and part of the walls remain.
The current appearance of the manor is due to the Spanish viceroys, who made it a real masterpiece of military architecture: extraordinary defense works were implemented in 1535 by Don Pedro of Toledo, of which the coat of arms on the entrance portal and on the outer curtain. The two polygonal bastions added in 1578 on the side facing the sea, incorporated the pre-existing Aragonese bastion.
Today the fort has a pentagonal plan, surrounded by a large moat and marked by four towers: three circular in carparo and one with the tip reaching towards the sea; on the fifth side, uncovered, the drawbridge opens up. Beautiful to visit, the castle is currently the site of temporary and permanent art exhibitions on local history and on the Grotta dei Cervi of great cultural importance.
CURIOSITY – The castle gave its name to the first Gothic novel in history, “The castle of Otranto”, written by Horace Walpole in 1764.
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