Sforza castle in vigevano
Sforza Castle in Vigevano
The Sforza Castle in Vigevano is one of the largest architectural complexes in Europe, located in the upper part of the city, built on the walls dating back to the period of the medieval communes. It was built as a military fortification but also as a residence. The first nucleus of the castle dates back between the 7th and 10th centuries, or the Lombard age.
It was converted into a noble residence in 1345 by Luchino Visconti then transferred to the Sforza under the ruler Ludovico il Moro who commissioned its restoration to great artists such as Bramante and perhaps Leonardo. Once this dynasty was no more, the castle of Vigevano passed to the Spaniards marking the beginning of its deterioration, until reconstruction efforts went underway in the 18th century.
The central building consists of three wings arranged in a horseshoe conformation around a courtyard. The stables of Ludovico il Moro are situated on the eastern side. The castle also has a second set of stables, commissioned by Galeazzo Maria Sforza in 1473, where temporary exhibitions are hosted today on the ground floor, with the International Footwear Museum on the first floor. In the back of the castle you will find the Garden of the Dames with the elegant Loggia delle Dame, once reserved for the duchess Beatrice d'Este.