Naples, Italy

Maschio Angioino

This imposing castle, surrounded by deep moats, was built in 1282 by Pierre de Chaulnes and Pierre d'Angincourt, the architects of Charles I of Anjou. It was modelled on the castle at Angers. A remarkable triumphal arc embellishes the entrances on the town side.

This masterpiece bearing sculptures to the glory of the House of Aragon, was built to designs by Francesco Laurana in 1467. Access to the Sala dei Baroni is via the staircase in the inner courtyard (at the far end on the left).

The fine vaulting is star shaped, formed by the tufa groins intersecting with other architectural features. The Cappella Palatina 14th Century features an elegant Renaissance doorway which was previously surmounted by Laurana's splendid Virgin now kept in the sacristy along with other works of the same artist.

Before reaching the theatre, you will see on the right the Galleria Umberto I built at the end of the 19thCentury. Note the fine dome in glass and iron, at the centre of the Greek cross.