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Aragonese Castle of Ischia

Aragon Bridge , Ischia Ponte

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Photograph © Wayne Lorentz. Licensed to Artefaqs Corporation
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Photograph © Wayne Lorentz. Licensed to Artefaqs Corporation
Click here to license this image for your business.
Click to buy prints for your home or office.

Photograph © Wayne Lorentz. Licensed to Artefaqs Corporation
Click here to license this image for your business.
Click to buy prints for your home or office.

Photograph © Wayne Lorentz. Licensed to Artefaqs Corporation
Click here to license this image for your business.
Click to buy prints for your home or office.

Photograph © Wayne Lorentz. Licensed to Artefaqs Corporation
Click here to license this image for your business.
Click to buy prints for your home or office.

Photograph © Wayne Lorentz. Licensed to Artefaqs Corporation
Click here to license this image for your business.
Click to buy prints for your home or office.

Photograph © Wayne Lorentz. Licensed to Artefaqs Corporation
Click here to license this image for your business.
Click to buy prints for your home or office.

Photograph © Wayne Lorentz. Licensed to Artefaqs Corporation
Click here to license this image for your business.
Click to buy prints for your home or office.

Photograph © Wayne Lorentz. Licensed to Artefaqs Corporation
Click here to license this image for your business.
Click to buy prints for your home or office.

Photograph © Wayne Lorentz. Licensed to Artefaqs Corporation
Click here to license this image for your business.
Click to buy prints for your home or office.

Photograph © Wayne Lorentz. Licensed to Artefaqs Corporation
Click here to license this image for your business.
Click to buy prints for your home or office.

Photograph © Wayne Lorentz. Licensed to Artefaqs Corporation
Click here to license this image for your business.
Click to buy prints for your home or office.

Location

Address

Aragon Bridge , Ischia Ponte, Campania, Italy 80077
Ponte Aragonese, Ischia Ponte, Campania, Italy 80077

Bordering Streets

Ponte Aragonese
Via Boccaccio

Neighborhood

Ischia Ponte
Ischia Ponte

Fast Facts

Also Known As

Aragon Castle

Formerly Known As

vin Keep

Built

1441

Maximum Height

370 feet / 113 meters
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Rising out of the Mediterranean Sea on an ancient volcanic bubble, Ischia's Aragon Castle looks like a fairy tale come to life.

The castle was borne out of war, and served as a place of refuge and defense for many conflicts. It also served as a safe haven against disasters, both natural and man-made. When the wars subsided, it kept people safe from pirate raids until that threat waned and the castle was no longer necessary to defend Ischia and it was sold.

Today, an elevator whisks tourists from sea level p to the ramparts where they are welcome to wander much of the castle. Parts of it have been restored and are used for art exhibitions and other events.

Raw Data

Construction End

1441

Size[Explanation ♐]

Maximum Height: 370 feet / 113 meters

Noteworthy Facts

• The bridge to Ischia is 722 feet long.
• At one time there were 13 churches in the castle.
• The nuns that were kicked out of their convent at the castle ended up at a new convent in Ischia Ponte, where they run a hotel.
• The nuns had their own cemetery in the castle. It wasn't a cemetery in the modern sense, but a series of seatless chairs and drains carved into the rock. The bodies of deed nuns were placed on these chairs and as their bodies decomposed their fluids were saved. This was to illustrate the sanctity of the soul and the idea that the body was nothing more than a vessel for containing a soul. The dried out husks of their bodies were eventually piled in an ossuary. Praying for hours near the rotting corpses made many of the nuns sick, and may have killed some.
• The nuns in the convent were actually the daughters of European royalty who were sent to live their lives in isolation so that the sons would inherit the family wealth.
• It is actually possible to walk to the castle, following the ancient donkey tracks. But most people just take the elevator.
• Grape vines, cacti, and other plants. Because of the castle's height and isolation it has a specialized microclimate that plants have adapted to.
• At one time 1,892 families lived in the castle along with hundreds of other clerics and members of royalty.
• Much of the islet that the castle is on is covered with the ruins of abandoned buildings and with farmland.

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Attributes

• castle - See more: (local) (region) (global)
• fortress - See more: (local) (region) (global)
• residential - See more: (local) (region) (global)
• museum - See more: (local) (region) (global)

Timeline

• 474 B.C.: The first fort was built on this island during the war between the Cumans and the Thyrrenians by Gerone I, a Greek from Syracuse. Gerone was awarded the island of Ischia for winning a decisive battle.
• 315 B.C.: The Romans take over the island and use it as a fort.
• 1301: The people of Ischia flee to the castle for safety during the eruption of Mount Trippodi.
• 1441: Alfonse of Aragon renovated the castle, transforming it into much of what we see today. He also built the first bridge linking the castle to the island of Ischia.
• 1575: The Convent of Our Lady of Consolation was founded in the castle.
• 1737: Construction began on the Church of the Immacolata (also known as the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption and Chiesa della Beata Vergine Assunta) inside the castle. It was never completed.
• 1809: The English attacked the castle during the Napoleonic Wars. At the time it was a French stronghold. The English cannonballs destroyed much of the Cathedral.
• 1810: The convent was closed by the Italian government.
• 1823: The few remaining people living in the castle were evicted, and it was turned into a prison.
• 1860: The prison was closed
• 1912: The castle was bought at auction by a private family.

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