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Sforzesco Castle

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Sforzesco Castle

Sforzesco Castle (Castello Sforzesco) was built as a fortress during the 14th century and is one of the most emblematic monuments of Milan. Today it houses some of the best museums in the city.

The Sforzesco Castle was built as a fortress in 1368. Later it was transformed into a splendid palace ducal that would be practically destroyed during the Ambrosian Republic.

The Sforza family strove to turn the castle into one of the most magnificent courts in Italy, but later passed into the hands of the Spanish and Austrians and regained its former military function.

With the decree of June 23, 1800, Napoleon ordered the demolition of the castle and, in 1801, the side towers and the Spanish bastions were shot down.

In the second half of the nineteenth century the castle was the subject of discussion among the Milanese, as many citizens wanted to destroy it to build a luxurious residential neighborhood. However, historical culture prevailed and the architect Luca Beltrami executed an important restoration, giving back to the castle the appearance that it had in the time of the Sforza. The restoration was completed in 1905 with the inauguration of the Filarete Tower and the Sempione Park, built where the old square was.

During World War II the castle was badly damaged.

At the end of the 20th century the castle square was built with a fountain inspired by the one that occupied this place before, before being destroyed, in the Sixties, by the construction of the subway. In 2005 the last restoration work was completed in the cortile area and in the chateau rooms.

The museums of the castle

  • Museum of Ancient Art: frescoes of the Sforza family and sculptures of great value belonging to antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Among the most important works is the Piedad Rondanini, the last and unfinished work of Michelangelo.
  • Pinacoteca: The gallery of the castle, composed of more than 1,500 works, shows paintings created between the 13th and 18th centuries.
  • Egyptian Museum: This museum displays different objects from Egypt, including statuettes, sarcophagi, mummies and funeral masks.
  • Museum of Prehistory and Protohistory: The objects of this museum show the main cultures that took place in Lombardy from the Neolithic period to the period of Romanization.
  • Museum of Decorative Arts: It shows the work of masters of the size, ceramists, sculptors, upholsterers and weavers of the centuries XI to XVIII.
  • Museum of Musical Instruments: The Museum of Musical Instruments treasures curious instruments from different parts of the world.
  • Furniture Museum: Six centuries of history through pieces created between the fifteenth and twentieth centuries. The furniture is displayed in a real recreation of the environments to illustrate the context in which they were.

In addition to the museums mentioned, there are also other exhibition spaces in the Sforzesco Castle: the Rondanini Museum of Piety, the Numismatic and Medal Collection, Leonardo da Vinci's "Sala delle Asse", the Drawing Collection and the Engraving Collection "Achille Bertarelli".

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