castello di milazzo
MuMa is located in the Bastione of Santa Maria, which was a church in the past, within the Castle of Milazzo.
The Castle spreads over 7 hectares and is the largest fortified city in Sicily; consisting of 12,070 square meters, from the town of Milazzo up to the ancient “Borgo”, and is considered one of the most important fortified areas of Europe. The monument is in a strategic location on the peninsula of Milazzo that extends towards the Aeolian Islands, and overlooks a natural harbor which has always been one of the most important ports of Sicily. The fortified city is one of few examples of military architecture where defense systems are still present today that were constructed over the course of 10 centuries by the various conquerors. This site was not used only by the military, there was also a Medieval village, in the area between the Aragonese and Spanish walls.
After a brief Angioina rule, the Aragonese crown took over; under the rule of Alfonso the Magnanimous the castle was renovated and at the end of the 15th century Ferdinand the Catholic constructed the Aragonese wall, that contain the inner keep. Construction on the Spanish wall started in the first half of the 16th century, and included the Medieval village that had expanded over the centuries, the excavated ruins are visible today. In the 17th and 18th century this area was used for several civil offices, including the building Palazzo dei Giurati located in front of the ancient cathedral.
In 1860, after Garibaldi conquered the city, the Bourbon army abandoned the castle.
The structure was used as a jail from 1880 to 1959, after which it was abandoned for many years until it was restored between 1991-2002 and 2008-2010.
The Bastione di Santa Maria was once the cathedral of Milazzo, which was partially torn down to construct the military bastion. It is a semicircle and was important to defend the southern part of the fortified city. The bulwark is part of the Spanish wall, and was known as “delle tre porte”. Construction started around 1525; between 1607 and 1608 the structure was modified with a barrel vault for military purposes.
The Spanish wall was built between 1525 and 1540 as designed by Pietro Antonio Tomasello, along with Antonio Ferramolino from 1533; composed of two parallel walls connected with a tunnel, the wall was built to protect the city and the naval base. Constructed with embankments, the interior of the wall was used for storerooms, cisterns and stables.
The Church Santa Maria was built at the end of the 15th century and the start of the 16th century with a single nave and rectangular plan. The only surviving architectural feature is a large stone arch with classic lines, that separates the nave from the choir. Today the floor plan is irregular because the original entry way was modified during the construction of the Spanish wall.
Museo del Mare di Milazzo
Castello di Milazzo
Via Salita Castello
98057, Milazzo (ME)