Ministry of Culture
General Directorate

Regional Directorate of Puglia Museums

Director Luca Mercuri
Via Pier l’Eremita, 25/B, 70122 Bari
+39 0805285231

Swabian Castle of Trani

The Castle of Trani is part of an imposing defensive system built by Frederick II of Swabia to protect the Kingdom of Sicily. It is located a short distance from the famous cathedral, strategically placed in the center of a bay, whose shallow waters have always been an excellent natural defense, both from the fury of the waves and from possible enemy attacks.

Visit the Museum

The building

Built on the model of the Crusader castles of the Holy Land, the castle has a quadrangular plan, reinforced at the top by four square towers of equal height. In the 16th century, with the advent of firearms, the castle was adapted to new defensive techniques and in the nineteenth century it was the subject of new restoration works that turned it into a prison. In 1970s it is handed over to the Ministry of Education today Ministry of Culture, which over the years has taken care of the restoration works and the museum creation. The building has two monumental halls on the first floor, from the Frederick era. This was further enlarged with the construction of bastions, one on the north – east side with a square plan and the one on the South-west side at the tip of the spear, connected by the wall that encloses large secondary courtyards. The body of the casemates, built in the Renaissance period, delimits the central courtyard.

Photo Gallery

The oldest marble inscription in the Castle, dated to 1233 and placed on the entrance portal in the western courtyard.

Shelf with depiction of Adam and Eve near the tree of knowledge, located in the central courtyard, on the north wing façade.

Fragment of a Proto-Majolica plate from the Frederick era from the excavations of butto n. 2, bearing the representation of a dancer.

The heritage

The visit of the castle allows to understand, through the succession of the various rooms and courtyards, the juxtaposition of constructive – defensive techniques that made the castle in the Middle Ages of the most modern defensive bulwarks of the Swabian dynasty, then moving on to the Renaissance, with the thickening of the southern front and the construction of the ramparts, thus ending with the interventions of nineteenth century, with the detention cells and the clock tower. In the Museum, located on the ground floor of the square bastion, there are stone finds and ceramics from the excavations carried out during the restorations of the twentieth century.

Info and Contacts

Piazza Manfredi, 16 - 76125 Trani
Telephone: +39 0883/506603
Director: Francesco Longobardi

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