The first mention of Castel Sant 'Elmo date back to 1275. In 1329 Roberto D'Angiò entrust
its extension to the sculptor and architect Tino Camaino that transforms the building
into a real palatium for the king and the court, a quadrilateral, with two towers;
in 1348 is defined in the documents as castrum Sancti Erasmi for the presence
there of a chapel dedicated to St. Erasmus.
In 1456 an earthquake causes the collapse of the towers and curtain walls with
some of its restoration by the Aragonese. During the Spanish viceroyalty (1504-1707)
the castle, and then called Sant'Ermo St. Elmo, perhaps for the corruption of
the name Erasmus, is transformed into a defensive fortress on behalf of Don Pedro
de Toledo (viceroy from 1532 to 1553) and the project entrusted to Pedro Luis
Escriva, a military engineer in Valencia. The construction of the current configuration,
star shaped, beginning in 1537 and in 1538 is placed on the entrance portal the
inscription, surmounted by the emblem of Charles V the Habsburg double eagle.
This imposing building, partly derived from the rock (yellow neapolitan tuff)
derives from an observation tower called Norman Belforte. Because of its strategic
importance, the castle has always been a coveted possession, from his position
(250 m) you can control the whole city, the bay, and the roads that lead from
the hills surrounding the city.
First, the citadel of the troops, then a military prison, the huge complex has
remained for centuries a body essentially alien to the development of society
until it has become home for exhibitions and cultural events which have changed
the vocation and, consequently, the role urban. The challenge was to bridge the
'distance' from the city and invent a different role for this monument. The castle
itself as a multi-purpose center is intended to expand the world of culture due
to the rich photographic archive and library of art history "Bruno Molajoli" that
one of the show, with an auditorium that hosts conferences, concerts, theatrical
performances and film.
Via Tito Angelini, 22
Tel.: +39 081 2294401