Bari's iconic fortress, the Norman Swabian Castle now serves as the headquarters of Puglia's Directorate for Cultural and Landscape Heritage.
Positioned by the city's main entrance, a few steps away from the Cathedral, the Castle today welcomes visitors before they head into the narrow alleyways of the historic centre.
The Castle was originally built by the Normans in the 12th century, but was later destroyed in 1156. Frederick II it rebuilt between 1233 and 1240, transforming it into one of the region's most interesting fortresses, mainly thanks to its strategic position. A fascinating example of medieval construction, it also retains elements that were added in successive extensions.
Art exhibitions and events are occasionally organized at the Castle. Archaeology lovers can also admire plaster reproductions of ornamental sculptures used between the 11th and 17h centuries at the Gipsoteca (Plaster Cast Gallery).
Commissioned by the illustrious Ruggero II Normanno (Roger II of Sicily), the Castle was originally built in the 12th century. Frederick II then brought it back to life a century later, after it had been damaged by Guglielmo il Malo (William I of Sicily). Also relevant for the Castle's history were Carlo d’Angiò (the Angevin Charles I of Naples), who expanded it, and Isabella d’Aragona (Isabella of Aragon, Duchess of Milan), who made it her noble residence.
A stone bridge welcomes you to the imposing Castle, which is fortified by massive bastions on the corners and several towers. The fortress, which was originally built over Byzantine ruins, retains its ancient moat, beyond which rise the Aragonese-era walls. A splendid courtyard separates the Swabian building from fortifications added in the 16th century.
Piazza Federico II di Svevia 4 70122 Bari +390805213704 Write us
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