Castle of Charles V, Monopoli

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The castle of Charles V in Monopoli is a 16th-century castle built during the Spanish rule of the city.


Construction on the fortress that Emperor Charles V had envisioned as a component of the Apulian coastal defense system came to a conclusion in 1552. It was built on a small promontory known as Punta Pinna, with the large Roman gate from the first century B.C. and the church of “S.Nicola in Pinna” from the tenth century serving as its foundation. These structures were raised on Messapian walls from the fifth century B.C. Viceroy Don Pedro of Toledo, or in other accounts, Marquis Don Ferrante Loffredo, oversaw the completion of the construction.

It was expanded and renovated in the 1600s, greatly altering the exterior physiognomy and interior composition, converting it from a purely defensive structure to a residential one.

Castle of Charles V inner-courtyard, Monopoli (source)

The castle served as a prison from the first half of the 19th century until 1969. After that, it was forgotten about until the 1990s.

The structure of the castle is straightforward, with pentagonal ramparts rising at each of its five vertices. To the left of the tower, a portion of the walls that have been maintained is still visible.

According to an unidentified 1700s historian, coral was abundantly fished for during his time and was taken from the seas below the castle.

Featured image: wikipedia


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