Castello Sforzesco di Soncino

Via Guglielmo Marconi, - 26029 Soncino - Cremona   see map - Contact
The Rocca Sforzesca di Soncino, located in Soncino, in Lombardy, is one of the most typical Lombard fortresses, built between 1473 and 1475 and having a fundamental role in the defense of the area until 1536. The castle, like the whole village, it was the fabulous setting for some scenes of a film that won two Oscars, Ladyhawke.

Castello Sforzesco di Soncino History

Soncino is a picturesque village located in the center of the Lombard plain, on the right bank of the Oglio river that separates it from the nearby Province of Brescia. We are in the province of Cremona and its strategic position has always made it an area that has been conquered by the powers of these places: the Serenissima Republic of Venice and the Duchy of Milan. Already around the year 1000 the village was fortified, but it is towards the end of the fifteenth century that it finds its strongest connotation. Even the design of its Castle dates back to the end of the 15th century, despite the fact that the oldest information concerning the Rocca di Soncino dates back to the 10th century, when a first city wall was built as a defense against the descent of the Hungarians.

Among the best preserved fortresses in Northern Italy the castle was erected at the behest of Galeazzo Maria Sforza who in 1469 sent the architects Serafino Gavazzi da Lodi to Soncino and Bartolomeo Gadio from Cremona, the latter also author of the Castello Sforzesco in Milan, to prepare projects of the new Rocca. The works, however, did not begin. It will be necessary to wait for 1471 and the ducal engineers Benedetto Ferrini from Florence and Danese Maineri to undertake the maintenance works of the ancient fortress, in addition to the walls, the doors and the civic tower. The works will finally be completed by Jacopo De Lera.


Soncino is a pretty village that stands in the center of the Lombard plain, on the right bank of the Oglio river that separates it from the nearby Province of Brescia. We are in the province of Cremona and its strategic position has always made it an object of conquest by the dominant powers in these places: the Serenissima Republic of Venice and the Duchy of Milan. Already around the year 1000 the village was fortified, but it is towards the end of the fifteenth century that it finds its strongest connotation. Even the design of its Castle dates back to the end of the 15th century, despite the oldest information concerning the Rocca di Soncino dating back to the 10th century, when a first city wall was built as a shelter to oppose the descent of the Hungarians.

Soncino Castle is one of the best preserved fortresses in Northern Italy. It was Galeazzo Maria Sforza who sent the architects Serafino Gavazzi da Lodi and Cremonese Bartolomeo Gadio to Soncino in 1469, the latter also author of the Castello Sforzesco in Milan, to prepare the plans for the new Rocca. The works, however, did not begin. It will be necessary to wait for 1471 and the ducal engineers Benedetto Ferrini from Florence and Danese Maineri to undertake the maintenance works of the ancient fortress, in addition to the walls, the doors and the civic tower.

For a long time the castle was the residence of the Stampa family and it was the Marquis Ermete I who decided to add the ravelin to the fortress. However, with the passing of the years the complex fell into a progressive abandonment, so much so that it became a lumber warehouse. In 1876 Massimiliano Stampa, the last Marquis of Soncino, sold the complex to the Municipality by testament. In 1883 the architect Luca Beltrami was commissioned to carry out a relief and in 1886 he began the restoration work which involved the demolition of arcades and other structures leaning against the terraces. The battlements, the roofs of the towers were largely restored, while the drawbridge was replaced by a masonry one.

The current architecture is that of traditional patterns, except for the thickness of the walls which were supposed to cushion the blows of the artillery. There is also one of the cylindrical towers, which also the tower outermost of the fortress: an unusual shape since they were usually square. This is because it stands on old pre-existing walls. The castle of Soncino can be entirely visited by walking through the stands with swallowtail or Ghibelline merle; you can climb the tops of the domes, visit prisons, kitchens, basements and spaces now used as museums. In the center of the fortress courtyard there is also a well.

Castello Sforzesco di Soncino

Time period
  • 1400s
Where
  • Italy, Cremona
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Castello Sforzesco di Soncino
  Via Guglielmo Marconi, - 26029 Soncino
  +39 0374 84883
  www.prolocosoncino.it/rocca-di-soncino.php

Castello Sforzesco di Soncino
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