Galliate Castle

Galliate Castle

Galliate Castle, locally known as Castello Sforzesco di Galliate, lies in the town of the same name, in the Novara province in the Piedmont region in Italy.

The town of Galliate has always been a strategic bulwark of the Milanese against the Novarese. The first fortification at this site probably dated back to the 10th century. Later, in 1154, a castle at this site was destroyed by Frederick Barbarossa, the Holy Roman Emperor. The emperor then had the castle rebuilt in 1168 only to have it destroyed by the people from Novara a few years later.

In the mid-14th century the Visconti family built a new castle here. On the foundations of that feudal castle the present castle was built between 1476 and 1496 by the Sforza family who were Dukes of Milan. Galliate Castle was built as a purely military structure and it is known that Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, sent an envoy to Galliate to study the new fortification. In 1532 the castle passed as a fief to the Caravaggio family who were related to the Sforzas and who were then known as Marquis of Caravaggio and Counts of Galliate.

In the late 18th century, after an explosion had destroyed the west curtain wall, Galliate Castle fell into decay. This lasted until 1878 when the castle was divided up between various owners who then started to restore and adapt their parts to their personal wishes. One part of the castle was taken into use by the Ursuline nuns who used it as a kindergarten.

The municipalilty acquired most parts of the castle during the 2nd half of the 20th century. The central part from the north side, however, is still divided between 2 private owners.

The square castle is still almost completely encircled by its original moat, which used to be filled with water drawn from a nearby canal.

Galliate Castle is partly a private residence, partly used as an office and for municipal purposes. The municipal part can be visited with a guide for a fee. Due to Covid19-restrictions this was closed when I visited, sadly enough. A mighty castle in a quiet rural town.


Gallery

Galliate Castle

Galliate Castle

Galliate Castle, locally known as Castello Sforzesco di Galliate, lies in the town of the same name, in the Novara province in the Piedmont region in Italy.

The town of Galliate has always been a strategic bulwark of the Milanese against the Novarese. The first fortification at this site probably dated back to the 10th century. Later, in 1154, a castle at this site was destroyed by Frederick Barbarossa, the Holy Roman Emperor. The emperor then had the castle rebuilt in 1168 only to have it destroyed by the people from Novara a few years later.

In the mid-14th century the Visconti family built a new castle here. On the foundations of that feudal castle the present castle was built between 1476 and 1496 by the Sforza family who were Dukes of Milan. Galliate Castle was built as a purely military structure and it is known that Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, sent an envoy to Galliate to study the new fortification. In 1532 the castle passed as a fief to the Caravaggio family who were related to the Sforzas and who were then known as Marquis of Caravaggio and Counts of Galliate.

In the late 18th century, after an explosion had destroyed the west curtain wall, Galliate Castle fell into decay. This lasted until 1878 when the castle was divided up between various owners who then started to restore and adapt their parts to their personal wishes. One part of the castle was taken into use by the Ursuline nuns who used it as a kindergarten.

The municipalilty acquired most parts of the castle during the 2nd half of the 20th century. The central part from the north side, however, is still divided between 2 private owners.

The square castle is still almost completely encircled by its original moat, which used to be filled with water drawn from a nearby canal.

Galliate Castle is partly a private residence, partly used as an office and for municipal purposes. The municipal part can be visited with a guide for a fee. Due to Covid19-restrictions this was closed when I visited, sadly enough. A mighty castle in a quiet rural town.


Gallery