The attack of the napoleonic armies

The advance of Napoleon Bonaparte on Milan caused the flight of Archduke Ferdinand I of Austria. As recorded on the 9th May 1796, he left only 2000 soldiers to guard the castle, supplied with 152 cannons, 300.000 kilos of gunpowder, 11.000 rifles and 100 head of cattle. A group of local supporters of republican France attempted to storm the despised fortress, which they saw as their Bastille, however the attack was repulsed by general Lamy and the garrison under his command. By the end of June notwithstanding the defensive force, the castle was under French control and was destined to garrison 4000 troops. Despite the retreat of Austrian forces and Napoleon's subsequent victory at Marengo on 14th June 1800, the complex continued to be used as a barracks. Sadly, the Ducal Chapel was converted into a stable.

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