Favorite thing The architect who first conceived this overpowering brickwork complex is unknown, but it was probably begun when Galeazzo Visconti had a castle built along the Roman walls near the city gates named after upiter, therefore the castle was popularly known as the castle of the Jupiter Gate.
The complex, with several constructions on the inside, was built in the shape of a huge rectangle around a vast inner courtxard facing the city. From the very beginning, the castle was the scene of both happy and not so happy events.
Bernabo Visconti was kept prisoner here in 1385 and another great of the celebrated family, Filippo Maria, was born there in 1392.
The citadel, better fortified by Giovanni Maria, became the Visconti's permanent residance. Filippo Maria, embelished it, commissioning even the great Florentine architect Brunelleschi to do some of the work.....
Favorite thing In Castello Sforzesco, apart from enjoying wonderful Italian castle itself, there are neat exhibitions. Also, after you walk and walk around giving pleasure to your eyes and anima, in the case you are in Milan when the days are warm, and wish to hold those memories longer and relax, you can do that in the nearby castle garden-just lie down and do nothing in deep zen meditation, smoke, watch other people, or whatever. If u wish to do this, bring some ordinary jacket to put on grass, as other people do.
Fondest memory A woman you can see now and then, beautiful and in long coat with very high heels yet good taste selected one, and mini skirt below walking and passing by... You can see such a beauty only in Italia!!!
Favorite thing The door surmonted by a huge Sforza coat of arms leads up to the Ducal Court where the art museums are located. The vestibule before reaching the court is full of sculptures and the sinopia of a remarkable late 15th century fresco by an anonymous Lombard master.
The courtyard is enclosed on three sides by a structure with two rows of pointed windows framed in brick.
During times of great danger, the Sforza used to seek shelter in the Rocchetta, which was felt to be one of the safest spots in the whole castle.
Fondest memory This on the picture were Ludovico il Moro's chambers. The loggia has been attributed to Bramante
In the Art Museums lots of masterpieces can be seen:
- the Rondanini Pieta, Michelangelo's last unfinished nasterpiece,
- Funeral Monument to Barnabo Visconti by Bonino da Campione,
- 6th century Byzantine marble bust, supposedly the Empress Teodora,
and many others.
Favorite thing In 1848 Austrian general Radetzky ordered the total demolition of the corner towers, and in 1880 the fortress was is such a terrible state that a complete demolition was proposed. In order to prevent further tampering, the Lombard Historical Society have undartake a total restoration project drawn up by Luca Beltrami.
One again the castle suffered major demolition after bombardments in the Second World War, though the damage was soon patched up in the years immediately following the war.
Fondest memory On the two corners of the castle stands Tower of the Falconers and the Castellana or Treasury Tower.
The huge space after crossing the gateway is known as the Training Grounds.
Favorite thing The greatest fortifications, however, were those erected during the 1560's when Vicenzo Seregni designed six bulwarks laid out like points of a star around the fortress, completed towers the end of the 16th century. Thereafter a moat was dug and six separate ravelins, i.e. masonry elements, were put up before the gates for defense.
The grandiose fortress thus acquired the shape of a twelve pointed star. Even though the castle never witnessed great military events, its history is far from uneventful.
Conquered in 1733 by Carlo Emanuele III of Savoy, it later fell under Spanish and in 1796 French domination. On June 17, 1800 it was abandoned by the Austrians; Napoleon immediately had the citadel demolished, and thus only the actual Sforzesco Castle was left standing.
Favorite thing ....The new lord of the city, Francesco Sforza, disregarded the pact he had signed in 1450 with representatives of the Milanese citizenry. In the pact he had agreed to have the gloomy Visconti fortress torn down, instead he commissioned Giovanni da Milano to rebuild the destroyed parts. Giovanni was succseeded by Filarete who designed the tower rising midway at the entrance.
Over the years the castle was becoming one of the most sumptuomus royal places in all of Northern Italy.
The height of splendor was reached when Ludovico il Moro summoned Bramante and Leonardo to take part in the project.
Fondest memory The splendid Filarete's tower which stands in the middle of the entrance facade, one of the emblems of the town....
Favorite thing Carrying the name of Francesco Sforza, the impressive fortress spreads on several hectares.
Surrounded with brick battlements dark red, nearly violine, it is punctuated regularly of towers. Inside, an immense court, then more far from the yard, inside the walled surrounding wall...
Favorite thing Michaelangelo’s third essay of the Christian emblem of pity and mourning, the Rondanini Pietà in Milan, was his last sculpture; he was at work on it only a few days before his death.
The opportunity of being able to see Michaelangelo’s trinity of Pietàs confronted me with an astonishing concentration of the essence of faith, hope and suffering. Indeed, as the perfection of the first Pietà falls to the careworn communion of the second, and then to the rough-hewn yearning of the final sculpture, one recognises the dizzying spectrum of our experience in all its contradictions, the miraculous sublimity of divinity giving way to the labours of the beings who must struggle to find their human features through the obdurate stone of mortality and grief.
Favorite thing Visit the Castle Sforza. It's a beautiful piece of architecture.
Fondest memory Hanging out at Bar Magenta after work, the local bar near the Cadorna train station.