Castel sant'Elmo, Naples (Italy), photos, pictures & history

Castel sant'Elmo (Naples), in english saint Elmo's castle, photos and a short history of this fortress, since it was just a watchtower, to the present day.

Castel Sant'Elmo and the Habsburg's royal coat of arms

castel sant'elmo

The castel sant' Elmo, Naples

Castel sant'Elmo (Saint Elmo castle) is a medieval fortress located on the Vomero hill of Naples city, precisely it is situated in largo San Martino. From this square there is a breathtaking view of the napolitan city and his Gulf.

On the wall of the castle, above the drawbridge, there is the Hasburg double-headed eagle, the Royal Arms of Charles V of Habsburg, king of Naples from 1661 to 1700.

Saint Elmo's castle: the arches and the view of Naples

Saint Elmo's castle (Naples), the arches and the view

Saint Elmo's castle in Naples is a magical place, after crossing the bridge and crossing the entrance you have to climb an internal ramp that leads to a corridor with 7 arches, six of them are facing the historic center of the city of Naples, from the seventh instead you can enjoy a gorgeous and breathtaking view of the gulf of the city.
You can also reach this place taking the elevator, then crossing the entire place of arms.

Castel sant'Elmo, the place of arms that overlooking Naples

castel sant'elmo

The castel sant' Elmo and the place of arms.

The Castel Sant 'Elmo has a panoramic place of arms, from which you can admire the entire Gulf of Naples and the entire city. It is located on the top of the fortress. you can reach this area by taking the lift, immediately after the ticket office or if you climbed by ramp you just find the place after the arches. Here it is possible to visit the Neapolitan 900 museum, born in 2010 with an exhibition of Neapolitan artists between 1910 and 1980.

Saint Elmo's castle, the view of the city Naples and its gulf

saint elmo's castle

Saint Elmo's castle, Naples: the city and the Mount Vesuvius

Saint Elmo's castle in Naples has an incredible view, from the walls of the place of arms, in fact, it is possible to admire Naples at 360 degrees. To reach these walls you have enter in the castle by the drawbridge, climb the ramp to arrive at the place of arms with 4 flights of stairs on their corners. So to reach the walls you just need to take one of them. You can aslo reach the place of arms taking the lift then one of the flights of stairs of the square.
From the walls there is a magnificent view of the city of Naples, Vesuvius, the gulf, the Sorrento peninsula and the island of Capri.

How much does the saint Elmo's castle ticket cost?


TICKET: € 2,50

REDUCED TICKET: € 2,00 (young people aged between 18 and 25 (not completed), that belong to the European community).

FREE TICKET to those under 18, the handicapped with one companion or one family member etc.  Price list and online Tickets on copcuilture.it

Contacts: +39 081 5587708

Official web site: beniculturali

OPENING HOURS: 

  • The saint Elmo's castle and his place arms (panoramic area) are opened everyday 8.30 a.m. - 7.30 p.m. ; last admission 6.30 p.m.
  • The 900 museum 8.30 a.m. - 7.30 p.m. ; last admission 6.30 p.m.  - closed on Tuesday 

How to reach Castel Sant'Elmo by public transport:

Funicular (Cable Railway)
In Montesanto station tale the funicular (Cable Railway) and get off at the terminus: Morghen station. From the station to reach the castle you must walking for about 5 minutes). So outside the funicular station you must turn right and immediately right again and take a little alley, continue to straight until the end of this allay, then turn on the right and after 300 meters you reach the Castel Sant'Elmo.

Metro line 1
Take the metro line 1 and get off at Vanvitelli station. Walking trough Scarlatti avenue until you reach the stairs and from here you have 2 options:

  1. take the V2 bus
    (front of the stairs, turning on the left you'll find the bus stop at the right side of this avenue) get off at terminus (piazzale san Martino).
  2. walking for about 7 minutes
    Continue climbing the stairs and when you arrive on the top you need to continue straight on until you arrive front of an escaletor. Take it and after 200 meters you can find a building, it's the funicular station (cable railway). Watching the station you can see on your left a little avenue that leads behind the edifice, so take it untill the end. Then turn on the right and walking for 300 meters and you get your destination.

To reach the castle by car click on the photo:

You will reach a paid parking lot just 100 meters away the castel sant'Elmo.

Image gallery of the castel sant'Elmo in Naples

The history of Saint Elmo's castle (Naples)

The saint Elmo's castle and his brief history, from the first historical notes in 1275 to today.

We don't know the date of construction, and the firsts historical references of the castle date back to 1275 C.E., during the period of Norman domination (1137 C.E.- 1194 C.E.), they built a tower called Belforte on the top of an old sacred building of the X century, the church of St. Erasmus.
This place was chosen because it was the highest point in all city. From there it was possible to overlook the entire golf of Naples. So it was possible sight in advance enemy attacks. 

In 1325 Charles I of Anjou has decided to expand this tower.

In 1343 The works were completed, the tower became a real square fortress.

Later the castle was besieged several time by French and Spanish for contending the kingdom.

During the Spanish Vice-Kingdom, between 1537 and 1547 C.E. the castle was rebuilt and expanded. It Took the appearance that we can see now: 5-pointed and it was placed on the wall, above the drawbridge, the Royal Arms, the Hasburg double-headed eagle.

In this period the name of the castle was changed. At the beginning the name was St. Erasmo, then St Ermo and then finally to St Elmo.

Between 1599 and 1610 C.E. it was again restored again: a bolt of lightning struck the church, the military quarters and the castle building.

From that moment untill 1952 The castle was a prison.

In 1976 it was restored again.

In 1982 it was given to the Superintendency for Artistic and Historical Heritage of Naples.

Now in the castle there are exhibitions and events.

It's possible to visit the place of arms where there's a wonderful and breathtaking view of the city of Naples, his Gulf, the islands of Capri, Ischia and Procida.

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