• Discovering the castle

    Discovering the castle

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First floor

The courts

The courts

Designed to be a fortress, then temporarly converted to barracks, prison, weaponry and goods warehouse, later to be provided with stables, forges, dormitories and kitchens, throughout the Middle Ages the Castel Vecchio used to accomodate a muddled variety of people and activities.

The garden and loggia of the oranges

The garden and loggia of the oranges

Throughout the Renaissance Ferrara was renown for its gardens, designed to reflect a heavenly archetype revised according to contemporary courtly ideals drawn by chivalric principles.

The camerino of the Bacchanalia

The camerino of the Bacchanalia

Alfonso II had this Cabinet realised as part of his Appartamento dello Specchio (Mirror Apartment), and with it referred to Alfonso I's more famous Camerini Dorati (Golden Study) which were also to a large extent dedicated to the theme of Bacchanalia.

The ducal chapel

The ducal chapel

Since the end of 1590 at the head of the Cupboard Chamber, the present-day Council Hall, works were undertaken to build a new chapel.

The chamber of Dawn

The chamber of Dawn

The room - where the flow of time and the motion of the Universe find their celebration as was the habit in Italian patrician residences since the close of the XV century - represented the core of the "Mirror Apartment", arranged by Alfonso II and designed by the court antiquarian Pirro Ligorio (1500 ca.-1580) according to his erudite and personal iconographic fashion.

The small chamber of Games

The small chamber of Games

The Saletta dei Giochi, a connecting room located between the Chamber of Dawn and the Hall of Games, is quoted in XVI century sources as the "chamber adjacent to the chamber of the mirror".

The small chamber of Poisons

The small chamber of Poisons

In January 1926 a competition was held to assign the decorations of the ceiling of this small chamber also known as "of the Quadrifoil" or "of the Balcony".

The hall of games

The hall of games

The Salone dei Giochi (the hall of games) was the hall of honour of the "Mirror Apartment". The room is reported in coeval sources as the "Chamber adjacent to the Chamber of the Mirror", namely the most spacious room next to the current Chamber of Dawn, but separated from it by the Small Chamber of Games.

The patience suite

The patience suite

Saint Catherine's tower and the rooms adjacent to it were converted for the first time at the end of the 15th century by the young Alfonso who was yet to become the 3rd duke of Ferrara, and it is thought that he had his workshops and assorted "chemical apparatus" placed there; he had access to the Pavilion Garden through the ravelin.

The gallery ante-room

The gallery ante-room

This small room was a part of Ercole II's "Patience Suite".

The "hector and andromache" room

The "hector and andromache" room

At the opposite end of Ercole II's "Patience Suite" where the New Gallery between the two towers began, you can now see the decorated ceiling of a space that was added in the early 1900's. This was only uncovered during the latest restoration programme.

The Gallery room

The Gallery room

Although not the Castle's first, the great Gallery, built by Ercole II (1534-1559), signalled a fundamental step in the process of modernisation that was transforming the old military stronghold into a royal palace worthy of a dynasty.

The land reclamation projects

The land reclamation projects

A room dedicated to the reclamation of the territory of Ferrara.

The San Paolo Tower

The San Paolo Tower

The San Paolo Tower was built on the South-west corner of the Castle as the stronghold to the building's main entrance.

The governo ante-room

The governo ante-room

In the 16th century, this small room of immense artistic quality was outside the "Sala del Governo" and acted as a sort of waiting room for entrance to "His Excellency's Chambers".

The Governo room

The Governo room

This room held great symbolic importance for the duke Ercole II (1534-1559) and it was in fact from here that he ruled and held court.

The Devolution room

The Devolution room

This room, that is characterised by a ceiling painted with grotesques illustrating four historic scenes, is also known as the "Sala Rossa".

The Landscape room

The Landscape room

This room with its domed roof is a single pictorial presentation housing three distinct stages of art from between the 18th and 19th centuries.

The geography room

The geography room

The room is situated on the first floor of the Torre Marchesana and features a domed ceiling with lateral fanlights and the decoration dates back to the early 19th century.

The Coats of Arms room

The Coats of Arms room

This room is one of the places within the Castle that represents the last transformation of the great building.

The Councils Room

The Councils Room

Meetings of the Council of the Province of Ferrara, who is the owner of the Castle since 1874, were held in this room for about eighty years.

The Castle and the cinema

The Castle and the cinema

The territory attracted the attention of cinematographic professionals since 1902, when Ferrarese Rodolfo Remondini made a 2-3 minutes documentary of the Count of Turin's visit to our city, which he screened at the Edison cinema in Florence.

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