The aragonese castle of Baia and the archaeological museum of the Phlegraean Fields
The history of the aragonese castle of Baia, since his construction in 1495 to date and inside it there is the exposition of the archaeological museum of the phlegraean Fields
Address: via Castello, 39 – 80070 Bacoli (NA)
GPS coordinates to reach the Castle's parking: 40.809762, 14.079527
Opening hours: every day 9.00 a.m. alle 1.30 p.m.
Price ticket: € 4 - Reduced price ticket: € 2
Combination Ticket € 8 - Combination reduced Ticket: € 4
With the combination Ticket you can visit: Cumae, Flavian Amphitheater (Pozzuoli), The Castle of Baia, Archaeological Park at Baia
The aragonese Castle of Baia is located in a strategic position, on a promontory in Baia a little town in the municipality of Bacoli at 15 km in the west of Naples city. It dominates the entire Gulf of Pozzuoli. From the walls of the fortress the guards couldn't see any enemy ships in advance even if they were far from the castle.
It's believed that where there is now the Aragonese castle there was the villa of Julius Caesar, because because Publius Cornelius Tacitus (Roman historian) wrote that the emperor's villa was located in a place high up and dominated the entire Bay of Baia.
This town during the Roman Empire was a great tourist destination for rich aristocrats romans because this is a volcanic area and there was natural thermal baths that are still present in these lands.
The construction of the castle began in 1495 by King Alfonso II of Aragon.
After about fifty years there was an eruption by a new volcano: the monte nuovo (new mountain). The Castle was damaged, so it was restored and modified to give it the appearance we see today. This Castle has always been used as a military fortress.
In 1734 it was restored again by Charles of Bourbon king of Naples, because it was damaged when he conquered the kingdom against the Austrians.
In 1799 the castle resisted the British fleets attack.
After the unification of Italy (1861) the aragonese Castle of Baia has been abandoned he was no longer useful for military purposes.
In 1927 it was restored again to use for the military-orphaned
During the Second World War it was used as a prison for prisoners of war.
In 1980 the concessions changed hands to Campania region that used the castle as temporary lodgings for the earthquake victims in Irpinia(in province of Avellino)
In 1984 the concessions changed hands again to Archaeological Superintendent of Naples and Caserta. So now inside the castle there is the Archaeological Museum of the Phlegraean Fields where is where it is possible to see the archaeological remains found :
- in Cuma,
- in the submerged Park of Baia (old Julius port of the 1st century AD, the port that connected Rome with the East),
- in the Rione terra (the ghost town of Pozzuoli)
- in the archaeological Baths of Baia
- in Liternium (where there is the tomb of Scipio Africanus)
The castle is situated exactly in the middle of the archaeological sites of Phlegrean Fields as mentioned above.
Among the various finds there are:
- the statue of Serapis (an Egyptian god), found in Pozzuoli inside Macellum (an ancient market) also called the Temple of Serapis as the name of the statue.
- the Nymph of Punta Epitaffio found in the port of Baia. This area was submerged by the sea due to bradyseism phenomena (gradual uplift or descent of part of the earth's surface). On this statue has been found several furrows created by lithodomes (sea molluscs that corroding the rocks and then they settle inside), so it was possible to discover the ground level during bradyseism .