Tourist Attraction in Ischia: Castello Aragonese di Ischia
The Aragonese Castle is a fortification that rises on a tiny island of trachytic rock on the eastern side of Ischia, connected by a 220 m long masonry bridge to the ancient village of Celsa, known as Ischia Ponte. The isle on which the castle was built derives from a syntactic eruption over 300,000 years ago. It reaches 113 meters above sea level and covers an area of approximately 56,000 square meters. Geologically it is a magma bubble that has been consolidating during eruptive phenomena and is termed a "dome of stagnation". The castle is accessed through a tunnel, excavated in the rock and wanted towards the middle of the fifteenth by Alfonso V of Aragon. Prior to that, access was only possible by sea through a staircase on the north side of the island. The tunnel is 400 meters long and the route is illuminated by tall skylights that at times also served as "piombatoi" through which hot oil, stones and other materials were dropped on any enemies. The next stretch is a mule track that winds upward and leads up to the top of the island. From this road there are smaller trails that lead to various buildings and gardens. From the seventies of the twentieth century there is also an elevator, whose route is made in the rock and reaches 60 meters above sea level. The construction of the first castle dates back to 474 BC. under the name of Castrum Gironis, or "Girone Castle", in honor of its founder. That year, in fact, the Greek Geron I told the tyrant of Syracuse lent his aid to the Cumanians in the war against the Tirrenos, contributing to their defeat off the waters of Lacco Ameno. Debtors of this intervention, the Cumani then decided to reward the ally by surrendering the whole island. The fortress was then occupied by the Parthenopes, but in 315 BC. the Romans managed to seize control of the island and founded the colony of Aenaria. The Castle was used as a defensive fort, and there were also houses and tall towers built to guard the movement of enemy ships. In the following centuries the fortress of Gerone was radically transformed, so as to act as a safe refuge for the people against the plundering of Visigoths, Vandals, Ostrogoths, Arabs, Normans (1134-1194), Swabians (1194-1265) and Angioins (1265 -1282). The eruption of the Arch of 1301 provided a significant incentive for the development of the urban settlement: it destroyed the city of Geronda, which stood in the area where in the 21st century the pine forest was planted, the Ischitans took refuge in the castle, which guaranteed greater tranquility and security , giving birth to a real refuge in which to live. The modern facade of the castle is to be found in the Aragonese: a solid quadrangular shape with walls with four towers. Starting in the old male of Angevin age, in 1441 Alfonso V of Aragon gave birth to a structure that resembled that of the Male Angioino of Naples.