Castelvecchio (Verona)

Castelvecchio (Italian: "Old Castle") is a castle in Verona, northern Italy. It is the most important military construction of the Scaliger dynasty that ruled the city in the Middle Ages.

The castle is powerful and compact in its size with very little decoration - one square compound built in red bricks, one of the most prominent examples of Gothic architecture of the age. A most remarkable feature are its imposing M-shaped merlons running along the castle and bridge walls. It has seven towers, a superelevated keep (maschio) with four main buildings inside. The castle is surrounded by a ditch, now dry, which was once filled with waters from the nearby Adige.

Castelvecchio is now home to the Castelvecchio Museum and the local officer's club which can be accessed through the left door on Via Cavour.

History

The castle stands on the probable location of a Roman fortress outside the Roman city. Lord Cangrande II della Scala had it built along with its bridge across the Adige River as a deterrent to his powerful neighbors such as Venice, the Gonzaga and the Sforza families. Construction was carried out between 1354 and 1376 (Cangrande died in 1359). The fortified bridge was intended to allow the seigniors to escape safely northwards to the Tyrol in the event of a rebellion or a coup d'état (the Scaligeri were allies of the Holy Roman Empire) and when they eventually lost their hold on Verona, its surviving members left Italy to found a German branch of the family.

Later, during the Venetian domination, slits were added to defend it with cannons. The castle was damaged by French troops during the Napoleonic Wars (1796-7), in retaliation to the Pasque Veronesi, when the local population staged a violent anti-French revolt. Napoleon had chosen to stay in Castelvecchio on his trips to Verona, but his widespread and arbitrary requisitions of citizens' and churches' property, the massive draft of male workers into the French army prompted the resistance that eventually drove out the invaders.

Under the Austrians, Castelvecchio was turned into barracks. In 1923 the castle was restored, as well as in 1963-1965.

See also

  • History of Verona
  • Scaliger
  • Castelvecchio Bridge
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Tips & Hints
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Johann Grimm
15 April 2017
From the parking on Corso Cavour, if you go on the left, you'll get a beautiful view of the castle and the bridge. The Adige is a wonderful and quick river!
www.travelitalia.com
1 April 2010
The castle appears as a single unit, but it is a complex made up of three distinct walled perimeters. In the great courtyard, from which access is gained to the museum today, there was a garrison.
Giannicola Bonora
20 November 2016
The old Bridge, together with the adjacent Arco de' Gavi is one of the top 3 spot in Verona, in my opinion. Try to cross it on a boat trip at least once.
Derek Wilson
20 May 2015
I didn't enter the museum itself. But well worth coming here and walking around. Great old castle on the river.
Buket Hoşcan Bazman
1 October 2016
Carlo Scarpa'nın muhteşem eseri! girince sadece heykeller değil, binadaki detaylar da incelenmeli.
The Gentleman Of Verona
23 October 2013
Ospita le collezioni di storia della città. L'allestimento delle opere realizzato da Carlo Scarpa è uno dei migliori esempi di architettura museale italiana
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Map
Ponte Scaligero, 37121 Verona VR, Italy Get directions
Mon 1:30 PM–7:30 PM
Tue-Sun 8:30 AM–7:30 PM

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