Ischia is considered to be the biggest island in the entire bay of Naples and also the most beautiful. This place is adorned with many interesting sights that attract people from all parts of the world. The Aragonese castle is said to be one such place that entices the visitors from far and near to visit it.
This magnificent castle has been built in the medieval period and is situated in Ischia, in the northern corner of Gulf of Naples, in Italy and is regarded as the most striking monument on the island. This castle stands on a tiny island close to Ischia Ponte and can be easily reached by crossing the stone bridge. This castle is around 113 meters high and can be accessed by a very old mule track or simply by using the modern elevator, which was installed during the seventies.
The construction of this castle dates back to the year 474 BC and in 1441 it was connected to the rest of the island with a proper stone bridge instead of the previous wood bridge by Alfonso 5 of Aragon, who also fortified the entire walls to defend himself and the inhabitants of the castle against the constant raids of the pirates. This castle has really been a crowd puller. The Aragonese Castle has been constructed on a volcanic rock and is regarded as an impressive historical monument. It was constructed by Heiro 1 of Syracuse. Two towers were also built to keep an eye on the movements of the enemy fleets.
Later, this rock castle was occupied by the Parthenopeans who were the ancient inhabitants of the country of Naples. For a brief period, this fortress went to the hands of the Romans and was regained by the Parthenopeans. Around 1500 to 2000 families are said to have lived on this islet, including the Abbey of Basilian from Greece, the seminar and the Bishop, the Clarisses Convent, the Prince and the military garrison. This place also was home to 13 churches. Later this castle was sold off to a private owner in 1912.
The castle is accessed easily through a tunnel having wide openings for letting the light to enter. There is also present a tiny chapel along the tunnel that is devoted to St. John Joseph, the island’s patron saint. One could get a much more comfortable access with the presence of a modern lift. There are also other places of interest like the Cathedral of Assunta and the Church of Immacolata. The latter is said to have been constructed in the year 1737 and was dedicated to St. Francis, but was closed due to the Convent suppression in the year 1806 including Nunnery of Clarisses. One such exhibit present in the castle is entirely dedicated to different forms of torture that was conducted on the captured pirates of the medieval age.
All these features of the castle make it an interesting place and a medieval wonder for the tourists and attract them from far and wide.