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THE SPANISH STAR-SHAPED FORTIFICATION
ruins of the Spanish fortifications
During the Spanish domination, on the initiative of captain Don Ferrante Gonzaga, Milan was provided with an invulnerable fortification system. Starting from 1549, massive walls were built around the city and the villages outside the old medieval walls. The Castle was linked to these newly constructed ramparts through structures called 'Tenaglie' (pincers), one on the way to Porta Comasina, the other leading to Porta Vercellina. Being inadequate, these were soon replaced with the famous twelve-pointed stellar wall system, built in accordance with the most advanced techniques of that time. the Milan castle

The Sforza residence was transformed into a true fortress with soldier barracks, which could host about 2000 soldiers. The vast expense was sustained by the Milanese citizens, who were forced to pay a lot for the building, as well as for supporting the Spanish troops. According to the iconographical and literary sources, there were a hospital, a pharmacy, artisan workshops, a bakery, a tavern, ice and food storage areas and two churches inside the fortress. The castle, which had once been a sumptuous residence, was reduced to a deplorable place. The sources report that the famous Sala della Balla (Ball Room) became 'Sala della Segala'. The Sala del Tesoro (Treasury Room) with the frescos by Bramantino hosted the carpenter's workshop, while hen houses were built inside the Rocchetta renaissance portico.

The Castle historical background



Castello Sforzesco - Piazza Castello   20121 MILAN