Castello Ursino, Catania (CT), Sicilia, Italy
The costruction of the castle was ordered by Frederick II of Swabia in 1240 on a promontory dominating both the sea and the city of catania. The lava coming from the Etna eruption of 1669 surrounded the castle without damages, but its military function was impaired.
The plan is a perfect square and another square inside to create the inner courtyard, for towers at the corners and other four towers in the center of each side. It was used as a fortress until the 14th century, when the Aragonese changed it into their royal mansion, and later became the residense of the viceroy. In the following century it was used as a prison and military quarters, then since 1934 a civic museum was established in its chambers.
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