Sforza Castel in Milan

Sforza Castel in Milan

Sforza Castel is one of the symbols of Milan and it is certainly worth visiting. This beautiful structure is bordering the park Sampione on one side. Within the walls there is a huge museum dedicated to arts, sculptures, musical instruments, antique furniture and wood work and the last sculpture of the famous Michelangelo.

Sforza Castel
The first castle on this spot was built by Visconti family between 1360 and 1370. It was built along Milan’s medieval walls. It was called Porta Giovia.
In 1447, the last descendant of Visconti family, Filippo Maria, died without legitimate heirs. The citizens of Milan used the opportunity to proclaim the republic and for the first time the fortress was destroyed.
Three years later, the castle was rebuilt by Francesco Sforza. He was a great general that married Bianca Maria Visconti - the only hair and illegitimate child of Filippo Maria Visconti and so became the Duke of Milan. The architecture of the new castle was much more elaborated. For the first time round towers and the Filarete tower appeared - a beautiful tower on the main entrance to the castle.
Ludovico Maria Sforza, the second son of Francesco Sforza hired the architect Donato Bramante  and Leonardo Da Vinci between 1480-1500 . This period was the most productive period of Milan’s Renaissance.
After Ludovico, the French rule over Milan started. The castle suffered sacking and destruction. In 1526, the Spanish rule began. During this period the original castle was surrounded by a star shape wall in order to make it impenetrable. In 1706, the Austrian domain began - which lasted for almost a century.
At the end of the 18th century, the castle was assaulted by Napoleon’s army, causing severe damage. Napoleon decided that the outer star shape wall should be removed and that the castle should be used to quarter troops.
After Napoleon, Milan fell into the Austrian hands once again. In this period, the castle was assaulted by the citizens of Milan, rebelling against the Austrian domination.
After the 1861 and the unification of Italy, it was decided that the castle should fulfill the public and cultural function, which remained to this day.

Sforza Castel museum
The museum offers vast collections of: ancient art, antique furniture and woodworks, collections of applied arts (tapestries, musical instruments, artistic ceramics and ivories), the prehistoric and Egyptian section and much more. A separate room in one section of the castle is dedicated to ”Rondadini Pieta”, the last sculpture of the famous artist Michelangelo.

Ticket prices for the Sforza Castle in Milan
Sforza Castel
Entrance to the castle is FREE of charge.
Sforza Castel Museum
Regular ticket price is: 5 Euros (€).
Reduced ticket price is: 3 Euros (€).
Reduced price- students, adults over 65 years.
Free admission- Individuals under 18 years, disabled individuals with their companions.
Free admission- every Tuesday from 14:00h, Wednesday-Sunday from 16:30h, every first Sunday in the month.

Working hours of the Sforza Castle in Milan
Working hours of the Sforza castle are: 7-19h.
Working hours of the Sforza Castle Museum
From Tuesday to Sunday working hours of the Sforza Castle Museum are: 9:00-17:30h (last entrance 17h).
Closed: All Mondays, January 1st, May 1st, Easter Monday.

Interesting facts

  • During the French domination, the Filarete tower (nowadays the main entrance to the castle) was used as the ammunition storage area. During the storm in 1512, a lightning hit the tower causing casualties and damage to the whole structure.
  • During the Napoleon rule, the ground level rooms which had beautiful frescos were used as stables

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