St.Elmo Castle was built in 1329, following an order by Charles of Anjou, on the hill of Saint Erasmus (now St. Martin’s) to control the access routes to the city. The fortress was built in the place where the Normans constructed in 1170 an observation tower called Belforte, today it’s surrounded by vegetation.
All historical events in Naples involve Castel Sant ‘Elmo. The shape is of a six-pointed star with areas of defense, ammunition depot, residence for the king, spacious courtyards, prisons, handouts, a church and a pool to provide an abundant water storage.
The castle has been restored and houses exhibitions of art and history, and also the Molaioli Library of Art and a video library that provides information on all the monuments of Naples. The complex also contains the church of St. Elmo, dated sixteenth-century and the chapel of Santa Maria del Pilar, from the seventeenth century.