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Castel dell'Ovo

Castel dell'Ovo



Location: Gulf of Naples    Map

Constructed: 13th century by Charles I Anjou



History of Castel dell'Ovo


Castel dell'Ovo is located on the Megaride island of volcanic tuff in the Gulf of Naples in Italy. The fortress' name means "an egg" and it gets it from the Medieval legend that ancient Roman poet Virgil put an egg in the center of the island to support the military fortifications. Today the island became a peninsula after a causeway was extended to connect with the mainland.


The history of the island and Castel dell'Ovo dates back to the times of an ancient Greeks who found their colony on the island in the 6th century. At a certain time Megaride island served as a villa of Roman patrician Lucius Licinius Lucullus that was famous for its abundant feasts. Additionally his personal resort housed an expansive library, garden of peach trees exported from Persia and even an eel farm. In the middle of the fifth century the island was fortified by Emperor Valentinian III. The last Roman Emperor Romulus Augustus was sent to Castel dell'Ovo into exile after being deposed by his own general Odoacer. Eugippius, a disciple of Saint Severinus of Noricum, found a monastic community that existed here till the early Medieval times. Dukes of Naples razed the monastery along with remains of Licinius' villa, but the abbey reappeared until being finally destroyed by Roger the Norman in 1140. The first military fortifications were established here by the Norman in the 12th century. This was followed by Charles I Anjou who erected a castle here in the 13th century. The castle dell'Ovo became the official seat of the Royal Chamber and the State Treasury. In the end of the 15th century the castle underwent massive reconstruction due to heavy damages from fighting during the Italian Wars (1494–1559). Castle dell' Ovo houses the ancient chapel of the Savior as well as Museum of ancient history. Under the gate Porta Santa Lucia there are many fish restaurants if you will get hungry, with the fish delivered straight from the sea.









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