Fortified citadel of Milazzo
The Fortified citadel of Milazzo, also known as the Castle, is the most famous monument in the city.
It has always been a strategic place given its geographical position with several important battles being fought in front of its coasts during Roman and in Modern times.
The citadel was a safe place, as shown by the eyes of the beetle placed on the spur of the medieval walls of the castle.
These black ashlars in lava stone symbolize the impregnability and vigilance of the castle over the city.
The castle stands on a hill where human settlements have been attested since the Greek era.
The visitor who enters the citadel makes a journey that, backwards, starts from the most recent elements such as the Spanish walls, to the Mastio, the main tower during Norman times.
Frederick II of Swabia, thanks to his architect Riccardo da Lentini, extended the fortification around the keep.
Under the Aragonese domination the castle was modified, incorporating the structures of Frederick. Finally, the Spanish city walls included the old medieval settlement.
It is a highly defensive structure, designed to defend the upper city from the attacks of enemy ships that came from the land and fields below.
Only Garibaldi, in 1860, was able to conquer the citadel, leading to the transformation of the site from a military site to a prison.
A double wall is connected by a tunnel, a drawbridge was located on a dry moat, circular openings above were used by the soldiers to throw defensive materials on top of the enemy, in case of attack.
In addition to the ramparts we also find in its towers, openings for the posts of shotguns and shoe bases as a general means of defense.
Within the walls there are tunnels and service rooms, shooting rooms, cannon posts and vertical vents to expel fumes and a guard walkway supported by shelves with interposed embrasures.
In the citadel there were also civil and religious buildings. The Old Cathedral, built in 1608, was completed in the second half of the century.
Its façade, late sixteenth-century, is on two orders and the dome lacks a drum for defensive reasons. The interiors were originally embellished by paintings that have been relocated to other churches.
Nowadays you can still admire the altars decorated with marble inlays made by Sicilian workers. The main altar is dedicated to St. Stephen.