The construction of Castle Estense in Ferrara, Italy was ordered by the Marquis Niccolò II d’Este in 1385 after a dangerous riot proved that the Marquis’ family was not safe in times of civil unrest, the architect employed was Bartolino da Novara.
Castle Estense at night
The exterior that we see today was completed in the 1500 hundreds
Here is a view of the castle from Piazza Castello.
The castle can be accessed by three drawbridges.
This is the courtyard of the castle. The two wells provided water in times of drought and the round stones at the far end of the courtyard were used as catapult ammunition.
A passage in the dungeons that leads to prison cells.
Each cell was secured with three doors, note the small door for passing things in and out of the room.
The castle’s dungeons were not meant for ordinary prisoners but for high-ranking individuals who required strict supervision, such as don Giulio who conspired against the Duke in 1506 and was held in this cell for 53 years. He was released when he was 81 and energetically walked through the streets of Ferrara adorned in his clothing that was over half a century old.
Here is the prison cell of Ugo, the son of the Marquis who had a love affair with his stepmother, they were both executed in 1425. In the left corner of the cell is the privy.
On the ceiling of Ugo’s cell you can see prisoners’ messages written with candle smoke.
We had a great time exploring this castle. Definitely take a tour of Castle Estense if you are in Ferrara. To see more photos of our trip to Ferrara select Italy from the category drop down at the top right of the page.
Welcome to Ferrara, a city in northern Italy with spectacular architecture and wonderful sculptures.
This is the lovely Ferrara Cathedral, we discovered it our first night in the city and knew we would have to come back in the morning for a closer look.
Ferrara Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral dedicated to Saint George, it was consecrated in 1135.
The porch of the building is supported by two Atlases perched atop lions.
Here is a detail of one of the Atlases and his lion, also a noble pigeon.
This is the nave of the cathedral which is lined with saints, looking towards the entrance.
A wonderful sculpture of Saint Ursus of Aosta.
The right-hand aisle looking towards bronze figures.
Bronze statues and crucifixion from the fifteenth century.
The Madonna delle Grazie chapel in honor of the Virgin was created by Agapito Poggi and Andrea Ferreri in the eighteenth century.
Sunlight illuminated the many crystal chandeliers throughout the cathedral.
The walls and ceiling are beautifully decorated with gilt stucco.
The Ferrara Cathedral was a joy to behold and made a great beginning to our trip through northern Italy.