Sitting on the Bay of Naples the grandiose and historic Castel Nuovo (also known as the Maschio Angioino - The Angevin Keep) is an iconic symbol for all Neapolitans. Rich with history and culture, this formidable castle is the most spectacular of the three that sit downtown (Castel Saint Elmo and Castel dell’Ovo being the other two).
Prior to 1266, the capital of the Kingdom of Naples was situated in Palermo (Northwest Sicily). When Charles I of Anjou took the throne, he ordered a grand castle to be built in Naples proper, close to the sea, to house the Royal Court. Led by French architects, construction was started in 1279 and completed three years later in 1282. It quickly became the historical nucleus of the city.
Over the course of its history, the ”New Castle” has been controlled by Hungary, France, Spain, and Naples. It has been expanded, modified, and restored numerous times over the course of its history, the last restoration occurring in 1823. For such an aged castle, it is in marvelous condition.
The New Castle houses the Neapolitan Society of National History (founded in 1875), possessing roughly 170 ,000 volumes, drawings, prints, and manuscripts. Additionally, the Museo Civico (Civic Museum) is located within the castle walls, where visitors can experience a rich collection of art and other historical works. There is a bronze door in the upstairs rooms of the Museo Civico, which still has a cannon ball embedded in it. This is the original 15th century door of the castle, which was taken as war booty by the French and then later returned. Ancient ruins have also been found underneath the castle which can be seen while walking through the Armory Hall over a floor made of glass.
About the photo: I was fortunate that the entrance to the castle was clear of automobiles and tourists last night, except for this one girl sitting on a ledge in the bottom center of the shot – which I loved. In my opinion, whenever you have a static shot like this, by including that human element, however small it might be, it can add tremendously to the photograph. I took this from my Gitzo Traveler Tripod with a remote release using my Nikon D7000 and Nikkor 14-24mm wide-angle lens. Please click on the image if you would like to view it larger and see the detailed textures of the castle.
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