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Since 1900

The castle from the twentieth century to today.


The use to which monuments are put during the course of their history is one of the fundamental elements that determine the state of conservation in which they are handed down to us.
The good state of conservation in which the Castello Estense of Ferrara found itself at the beginning of the twentieth century, in a time not too distant from a more reassuring culture of conservation and restoration of monuments, derives from the fact that throughout its entire history it has always been lived in, has never undergone traumatic moments of abandonment or disassociation from its strong image of having important functions of government of the territory.
We have seen, how between the end of the medieval era and Renaissance, the castle was built as a fortress and how it developed into a court palace that was highly valued artistically and as a monument.
During the long period in which the city of Ferrara was under the political control of the Papal States, while on the representational level the castle's prestige dwindled somewhat and its bureaucratic function increased, no further building took place and the courtyards and the areas outside the moment which belonged to it steadily became public areas.
After becoming state property of the Kingdom of Italy and later, via the public auction of 1874, the property of the provincial administration, for almost the entire 20th century Ferrara's Castello Estense was used as state apartments and mostly as offices of local institutions and agencies and those of the state.
In 1927, the following headline appeared in the Corriere Padano newspaper "For the sake of dignity and art: let us vacate the Castello Estense". This was the first time that this concept had been openly expressed and it began to make headway in the conscience of the political and cultural leaders in the city of Ferrara.
But it was the Provincial Administration of Ferrara, still its owner today, that from the 1980s onwards, showed the capability to restore the castle properly and turn it over to the function of a modern museum which opens up all of its artistic and monumental contents.
Today, Ferrara's Castello Estense is the symbol of the city, one of Italy's most visited monuments, a prestigious example of a well conserved medieval castle and at the same time a princely Renaissance residence.


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