Castello Carlo V (Castle of Charles V), Lecce

Castello Carlo V (Castle of Charles V), Lecce

Excavations in the courtyard reveal that the first castle was built in the 12th century. In the 16th century, by order of Spanish King Charles V, the castle was restructured to enhance its defenses. Construction started in 1537. The manor was completed as a fortress by 1553.

The building underwent significant restructuring, incorporating the original medieval edifice and establishing a curtain wall connecting four powerful bastions. Two towers survive today, the Master Tower (Torre Maestra) and the Show Tower (Torre Mostra). Of the early Norman occupation, only traces of the 12th-century wall have been excavated so far.

The design of the castle was created by architect Gian Giacomo dell'Acaya in 1539. In the process of restructuring, the Chapel of the Trinity and Monastery of the Benedictine Order was pulled down. One of the internal rooms was used as a theatre in the 18th century. From 1870 to 1979, the castle saw service as a military asset.

Presently, the Castle of Charles V is the home of the Cultural Affairs of Lecce, and it is a venue for cultural events. The ornately decorated Big Room has large stained glass windows. The rooms on the upper floor are supported by stone columns.

It is said that the Orsini del Balzo family that resided in the castle in the 14th century kept a white bear in the mansion moat. That seems unlikely, but the name "Orsini" implies bear-like qualities.

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Castello Carlo V (Castle of Charles V) on Map

Sight Name: Castello Carlo V (Castle of Charles V)
Sight Location: Lecce, Italy (See walking tours in Lecce)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Lecce, Italy

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Create Your Own Walk in Lecce

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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
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