Saint Elmo's Castle
Experience close to 1,000 years of Neapolitan history, and enjoy breathtaking unimpaired 360 degree views over the city, the surrounding countryside, and the Bay of Naples. Perched high above the city, visible from everywhere, Sant'Elmo Castle is one of the main landmarks of Naples.
Saint Elmo Castle was built in 1329 by order of Charles of Anjou on the hill of Sant'Erasmo (now San Martino) to control the roads that lead into the city. Construction was assigned to architects Tino da Camaino, Atanasio Primario, and Francesco di Vito, and was completed in 1343. It was built where the Normans, in 1170, erected an observation tower called Belforte.
Many of Naples' historic events involve Saint Elmo Castle. In 1348, the castle withstood its first siege from the king of Hungary, Ludovico. The castle became a key military objective when France and Spain competed for the kingdom of Naples.
King Charles V, through the viceroy Pedro de Toledo, assigned the complete rebuilding of the castle to the Spanish architect Pier Luigi Scribà. Scribà designed a star-shaped plan with six points. The new building included defense areas, the powder magazine, royal apartments and the garrison's quarters, ample courtyards, prisons, larders, a church, and a colossal pool to assure abundant water supply.
In 1587, lightning struck the powder magazine during a storm, and the explosion caused considerable damage to the castle and many monuments and churches in the city.
Several fights took place here between the various dominating powers, as well as repeated popular uprisings, including the Masaniello's legendary revolt against the Spanish Habsburg in 1647.
Towards the end of World War II, the Germans intended to destroy it before they left the city, changing their minds only at the last minute.
The castle, which has now been restored and houses art and history exhibitions, hosts the Molaioli Library of Art and a library of video material, which supplies information about all of the city's monuments. The complex also contains the 16th century Church of Sant'Elmo and the Chapel of Santa Maria del Pilar (17th century).
Once a confirmation code has been assigned to your reservation, we can refund the cost of unused tickets, also for no-shows, minus a service fee (reservation fee and online booking fee).
Before You Book
PLEASE NOTE: Immediately after submitting an order, you will receive two emails. The first email contains your order summary (this one you receive immediately after placing your order), the second email confirms your successful payment (one business day after placing the order). In order to receive these two emails, please make sure that you enter your email address correctly and check that antispam or antivirus filters do not block emails from our [email protected] address. Users of AOL, Comcast and Sbcglobal.net need to pay special attention to this, please. Vouchers will also be available, one business day after the request, at your dashboard.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The time you select on the order form is your preferred time. The closest available time, which can be anytime during opening hours on the selected date, will be automatically confirmed if your preferred time is no longer available.
Wednesday to Monday from 8:30 am to 7:30 pm
The Castle/Museum is closed on Tuesdays, as well as on January 1 and December 25.
Ticket Office closes one hour before the museum.
Reservations must be made with a minimum of 1 day notice.