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Castel dell'Ovo: history menu

From the historical point of view, Castel dell'Ovo can be considered a neverending "box". In order to explain it, it is enough to consider in 476 Odoacre used Castel dell'Ovo as prison for Romolo Augustolo, the last emperor of the West. This castle was used as prison for many centuries: the Anjou put here in prison the son of king Manfredi of Svevia; the church put here the philosopher Tommaso Campanella; in the nineteenth century it was transformed into a prison and here many jacobins, 'carbonari' and liberals were arrested, among them there was also Francesco De Sanctis. Castel dell'Ovo had to resist to many attacks during the several wars; among them the most important are: one during the fight between Aragonesi and Anjou, when it was strongly contended by these two parties; during the 'Congiura dei Baroni' it was completely sacked by the 'baroni' supporters; in order to conquer it again, Ferrante d'Aragona had to cannonade with bombarde; even after the coming of Charles VIII, king of France, Castel dell'Ovo was hardly bombarded and then damaged by the French of Luis XII, by the Spanish of Consalvo from Cordova; the Neapolitan Republic supporters (1799) used its cannoni to shoot on Naples and scare its population that did not want the French forces to come; when the army of Fabrizio Ruffo di Calabria came, the castle was violently assaulted by the Realists; they murdered many and many repubblicans who barricaded themselfs inside. The last battle Castel dell'Ovo was involved in took part in 1809, when it fought against the English-Bourbon fleet: it came directly under its huge walls. The French officers ordered immediately to fire; the so called "Sirens' gulf" was deafened for a couple of hours by the cannons; it happened untill the British ships wisely decided to bear off.
Before being strongly restored, the Spanish used it as millstone for the wheat, with its windmills. The last important reconstructuration was decided by the Bourbon who gave it the characteristics it still has.


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