ST. ELMO CASTLE TOUR – NAPLES
St. Elmo Castle tour is a half guided tour where you can visit one of the most wonderful castle in Naples.
St. Elmo Castle is one of the most beautiful castles of Naples, where you can also enjoy the view of the old town of Naples.
“St. Elmo Castle” guided tour is something you can’t miss while you’re travelling into “Naples”! “St. Elmo Castle” dominates the city of “Naples” from the highest point of the “Vomero hill”, located in Largo San Martino, which offers a splendid view of the historic center...
It is a medieval castle built around 1300 in the same place where there was, in the 10th century, a chapel dedicated to St. Erasmus, hence Eramo, Ermo and then Elmo, which gave the fortress its current name.
Since then, the Castle was besieged several times for its strategic position and control over the roads of “Naples”, and was a military target, especially during the dispute between the Spanish and the French for the conquest of the Kingdom of Naples.
Between 1537 and 1547 “Saint Elmo Castle”, was rebuilt on commission by the Spanish Viceroy Don Pedro De Toledo and took on its current six-pointed star plan. At the top of the fortress is the great Plaza d’Armi, with the tower of the Castellano, once used as the castle commander’s quarters, on one side, and the small church dedicated to St Erasmus. Behind the altar is the tomb of the Castellano Don Pedro de Toledo. From here you can also admire one of the most beautiful views of the city, overlooking the center and the “Gulf of Naples”.
Between the 17th and 18th centuries the castle became a prison, where the philosopher Tommaso Campanella was imprisoned, and was the site of revolutionary uprisings in 1799, when it was taken by the people and besieged by the republicans who proclaimed the Neapolitan Republic in the “Piazza d’Armi”. After the collapse of the republic, “Saint Elmo Castle” was still a prison, where “Giustino Fortunato, Domenico Cirillo and Luisa Sanfelice” were imprisoned, and remained a military prison until 1952.
Only in the 1980s did “Saint Elmo Castle” become a structure of cultural and museum interest, and since 1982 the entire monumental complex has been entrusted to the custody of the Superintendence for “Artistic and Historical Heritage of Naples”, and was opened to the public in 1988.
Don’t miss, during your visit to the castle, the evocative “Piazza d’Armi”, from which you can enjoy an incredible view of the “Gulf of Naples”, the old town and the seafront, the Hermit’s Cave, the prisons for common and illustrious prisoners, the Castellano Tower and the small church of Sant’Erasmo, built by the Spanish architect Pietro Prati in 1547 and completely rebuilt by the architect Domenico Fontana, located at the top of the large square.
“Saint Elmo Castle” currently hosts temporary art exhibitions and shows, as well as theater and music festivals. In addition, the castle is the permanent home of the Naples museum of the twentieth century 1910/1980, a museum-in-progress that collects works by Neapolitan artists during the 20th century, including sculptures, paintings and graphic experiments.
Join us to discover the magnificent Saint Elmo Castle and admire the most beautiful views of Naples!