• Trekking

  • Speleologia carsica

  • Speleologia urbana

  • Storia ed archeologia sotterranea

  • Ricerche

LogIn

Who is online

We have 206 guests and no members online

Statistics

Users
72
Articles
1759
Articles View Hits
2748837

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active
 

Translated Jeff Matthews

The height of the rocky spur that dominates the city of Naples is entirely taken up by the great fortification, Castel Sant'Elmo.

If you raise you glance up over the roofs of the houses and buildings or avail yourselves of the ample space in so many of the squares, you'll no doubt notice the yellow color of the limestone rock, Neapolitan tuff, shining in the sunlight.

Apparently there was a church on the height originally, a church dedicated to saint Erasmus, a name was then abbreviated to Ermo and eventually corrupted to Elmo. Later, under the Normans, a tower was built and "in 1170, the Belforte fortress was built. In 1329 Robert of Anjou had a palatium castrum built by architect Francesco de Vico, Attanasio Primario, Balduccio di Bacza and Tino di Camaino; that work was completed in 1343" (I Castelli. Architettura e difesa del territorio tra Medioevo e Rinascimento, Istituto Geografico De Agostini; ed. Paolo Marconi, Novara 1978, p. 480).

In 1456 an earthquake partially destroyed that structure and towards the end of the century, in 1495, Francesco di Giogio Martini "started the construction of two towers as part of a new perimeter; they were finished in 1496" (Marconi, cited above).

Given the strategic importance of the height, the fortress was completely rebuilt over a nine-year period beginning in 1537 under viceroy don Pedro de Toledo.

The Sant'Elmo Castle has counterscarp, moat/trench and part of the upper structure, itself, cut entirely into the rock, while the upper parts of the structure are of tuff ashlar. In appearance the structure is layed out as a flattened star with eight points, four of which form two pincers to the NW and SE, respectively.

The twelve straight facades of the fortress are guarded by as many casemates set into the respective corners, where splayed loopholes are well placed between the rock and masonry. They are almost all double loopholes and some of them outfitted with cannon. The defence was completed by additional casemates and artillery pieces in barbette gun emplacements on the height.

A water supply was guaranteed by the presence of cisterns.

Gianluca Padovan (Ass.ne S.C.A.M. - F.N.C.A.)

Click on images to enlarge


1. Entrance to the Castel Sant'Elmo (photo G. Padovan)


2. Between rock and masonry (photo G. Padovan)


3. West side (photo G. Padovan)


4. Detail, loopholes of a casemate (photo G. Padovan)


5. Arrows mark the casemates at the corners


6. Period artillery piece (photo G. Padovan)

There is additional information om the Castel Sant'Elmo at this link. www.naplesldm.com/smse.html

Please login to comment
  • No comments found

Take A Quick Photo Visit Beneath Naples!

THE SUBSOIL OF NAPLES - English translation of rare book on Naples Underground finished

Best image

News from Abroad

All published content, unless otherwise indicated, is subject to the Creative Commons license
The site www.napoliunderground.org is updated irregularly and thus is not to be considered a newspaper or editorial product as defined by law n.62 of March 7, 2001
Napoli Underground (NUg) is an independent organization concerned solely with exploring, researching, educating and informing; it is not connected with any of the many associations that serve tourism and/or provide guided tours of our city.

 

This website uses cookies to manage authentication, navigation, and other functions. By using our website, you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device.
View e-Privacy Directive Documents