Tourist Attraction in Lecce: Castello Asburgico di Carlo V di Spagna
The castle of Lecce is close to the center of town, more precisely near Sant'Oronzo square. Emperor Charles V of Habsburg in 1539 issued the order to demolish the old princely bastion, dating back to the Middle Ages, and to build a new fortress, avant-garde with military architecture techniques. Construction and design work was entrusted to Gian Giacomo dell'Acaya, general engineer of the Kingdom of Naples. The most exterior was made between 1539 and 1549. In 1872, the moat was encircled and removed from the two-lifts of the two gates: "Real Gate", the only gateway available today, and the "False Gate or Rescue Gate" on the back, which is the most Developed and the fortified, to counteract the dangerous attacks that came from the nearby coast of the sea. The Convent of the Celestines was demolished with the adjacent Church of Santa Croce, later rebuilt on Via Umberto I, and the elegant palace of which remains a trace, embedded in the central factory body: The Mastio in the Northeast, the tower located to the left in the courtyard at the "Cobble Tower" southwest. Recent archaeological investigations carried out by the University of Salento have highlighted the oldest (at least today) core of the manor, which dates back to the 13th and early 14th centuries, that is, between the Swabian age and that of Angevin. To refer to this period is the tall, squat tower of square form at the center of the sixteenth century fortress. The shape of the defensive building is quadrangular with four corners as many "bastions" from west to east in clockwise direction. The bastion of S. Croce, that of S. Martino, S. Giacomo and S. Trinità. The shape resembles that of the fortifications with boulders at the corners. In the Lecce fortress are used the balustrades "flanked to the modern", with the balusters turning the curtain, a rectilinear wall between the two bastions. This particular concept of military architecture has been particularly taken care of to the west side (the one facing the city center). The castle is located along a very important communication route since the Roman and then medieval times, from here it was possible to reach the port of San Cataldo, the port of Lecce. The only gate that allowed access from the city was the so-called Royal Gate, well protected by the S. Martino and S. Croce bastions. Another door was on the opposite side. On both sides of the castle there was the Imperial Empire Coat of Arms. The building was completely surrounded by a moat, now obliterated by later structures added in particular during the nineteenth century; A legend tells that the Orsini del Balzo in the course of the fourteenth century kept a white bear in the moat, both as a status symbol and to discourage any intrusions; On the east door there are still signs where the drawbridge to which the two doors had to be laid was. The castle was well-versed with artillery pieces. I still see here and there the points where the cannons were placed.