Melegnano Castle

Melegnano Castle

Melegnano Castle, locally more commonly known as Castello Mediceo di Melegnano, lies in the town of the same name, in the Milan province in the Lombardy region in Italy.

Melegnano Castle was built in 1243 on the site of an earlier fortification which had been destroyed in 1239. It was built by the mayor of Milan, Cattelano Carbone, with the aim of protecting the countryside around Milan. The need to build a fortress in Melegnano had been necessary for Milan to counter the continuous raids of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, whose attacks on the castle were resisted in 1244 and 1245.

During the 14th century the castle was extensively rebuilt by the mighty Visconti family and got the appearance of a rectangular brick castle with square towers at its corners, its entrance defended by a ravelin, and circled by a deep moat fed by the Lambro river.

The first Duke of Milan, Gian Galeazzo Visconti, died in Melegnano Castle in 1402. In April 1449, the castle was besieged by the troops of Francesco Sforza in his struggle to become the new Duke of Milan after the death of Filippo Maria Visconti. His troops used bombards which destroyed 2 of the corner towers and large parts of the curtain walls. The destroyed part would never be rebuilt.

In 1512 the castle passed to the Brivio family who in 1532 sold the fief and castle to the Medici family. The Medicis would hold the castle for the next centuries until 1981, when it was sold to the Province of Milan. A couple of years later parts of the castle were delegated to the local municipality for use as a town library.

Between 1998 and 2001 Melegnano was restored and it now houses a small museum. The castle is famous for its mid-16th century frescoes that adorn the halls on the first floor.

Melegnano Castle can be visited for a fee but only with a guide and on appointment. Sadly enough it was closed when I visited, so I did not get to see the frescoes. A nice castle where I had a pleasant conversation with an elderly pensioner who reminisced about his youth as a young boy when he lived in the castle with his parents.


Gallery

Melegnano Castle

Melegnano Castle

Melegnano Castle, locally more commonly known as Castello Mediceo di Melegnano, lies in the town of the same name, in the Milan province in the Lombardy region in Italy.

Melegnano Castle was built in 1243 on the site of an earlier fortification which had been destroyed in 1239. It was built by the mayor of Milan, Cattelano Carbone, with the aim of protecting the countryside around Milan. The need to build a fortress in Melegnano had been necessary for Milan to counter the continuous raids of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, whose attacks on the castle were resisted in 1244 and 1245.

During the 14th century the castle was extensively rebuilt by the mighty Visconti family and got the appearance of a rectangular brick castle with square towers at its corners, its entrance defended by a ravelin, and circled by a deep moat fed by the Lambro river.

The first Duke of Milan, Gian Galeazzo Visconti, died in Melegnano Castle in 1402. In April 1449, the castle was besieged by the troops of Francesco Sforza in his struggle to become the new Duke of Milan after the death of Filippo Maria Visconti. His troops used bombards which destroyed 2 of the corner towers and large parts of the curtain walls. The destroyed part would never be rebuilt.

In 1512 the castle passed to the Brivio family who in 1532 sold the fief and castle to the Medici family. The Medicis would hold the castle for the next centuries until 1981, when it was sold to the Province of Milan. A couple of years later parts of the castle were delegated to the local municipality for use as a town library.

Between 1998 and 2001 Melegnano was restored and it now houses a small museum. The castle is famous for its mid-16th century frescoes that adorn the halls on the first floor.

Melegnano Castle can be visited for a fee but only with a guide and on appointment. Sadly enough it was closed when I visited, so I did not get to see the frescoes. A nice castle where I had a pleasant conversation with an elderly pensioner who reminisced about his youth as a young boy when he lived in the castle with his parents.


Gallery