il castello aragonese di ischia

Aragonese Castle

The Aragonese Castle of Ischia is a fortress located on the western side of the island and connected to the mainland by a bridge just over 200 metres long, called Ischia Ponte.

The construction of the first castle began in 474 B.C. but the modern aspect of the fortification is the result of the Aragonese. In 1438, Alfonso of Aragon had the small island connected to the land by a wooden bridge (which later changed to stone), built the access ramp in the rock and fortified the castle by giving it a quadrangular shape, with four towers at the corners. The construction was inspired by the Maschio Angioino, the symbolic castle of Naples, also known as Castel Nuovo.

The Aragonese Castle is an important part of Ischia’s history; today it is a private property (of the Mattera family) and open daily to tourists.

Inside you can visit:

  • the Cathedral of the Assumption, partly destroyed by the British during the war at the beginning of the 19th century, today what remains is an open space that hosts classical music concerts and prose and poetry readings.
  • the Cathedral Crypt consisting of a single central room and characterised on the perimeter by seven small chapels with barrel vaults, one chapel for each of the seven resident noble families. The structure was a chapel originally, but later became a crypt when the Cathedral of the Assumption was built above it.
  • The Convent of the Poor Clares with the cells where the Poor Clares used to rest. There is now a hotel in one side of the convent and the former cells have become the current guest rooms.
  • The Cemetery of the Poor Clares, a sad but evocative underground structure. On the walls you can see the stone seats on which the bodies of the nuns were placed in a sitting and upright position, so that they would lose their liquids and mummify.
  • The Church of the Immaculate Conception, restored in 1980 has a Greek cross plan. From the dome there is a magnificent view of the village of Ischia Ponte. The church is currently used as a location for temporary art and sculpture exhibitions.

    The castle has numerous terraces with panoramic views of Ischia Ponte, Cartaromana and the Gulf of Naples.