Scaliger Castle

Scaliger Castle is located in Sirmione, Italy. The 13thcentury fortress is believed to have been commissioned by Mastino I Della Scala and used by the fleet of the Scaliger family as a fortified port. The castle reinforced Verona’s defenses and served to show Mastino’s political power. Scaliger Castle is situated on a small peninsula surrounded by Lake Garda. The fortress has crenellated walls and boasts a moat and drawbridge leading up the 150 steps to the ramparts and tower. In 1405, Verona and surrounding towns were annexed to the Republic of Venice and a Venetian garrison was deployed from Scaliger Castle. New stone walls were built around the harbor at this time. The castle’s importance began to decline in the 16thcentury with the building of a new fortification stronghold in Peschiera del Garda, nevertheless the warehouses and arsenal remained at Scaliger Castle. The territories belonging to Venice were conquered during the Napoleonic Wars and French forces remained in the castle until 1814. In 1861, when the independent Italian states united, Sirmione became a part of the Kingdom of Italy. Hot thermal springs were found in Sirmoine at the end of the 19thcentury and the town became a resort area. The increased tourism to the area and the castle led to the castle’s restoration in the 20thcentury. Scaliger Castle is considered one of the most well conserved of Italy’s castles. The castle is open to the public and serves as a tourist facility and museum.