The Sforza Castle in Milan is one of the most beautiful castles in Italy, which was originally a Visconti fortress and then became home to the Sforza dynasty.
The Castle was initially built as a stronghold between 1360 and 1370 by Galeazzo II Visconti; his successors continued to build it until Filippo Maria transformed the structure into her own residence and built the large garden north of the building.
From the death of Ludovico il Moro in 1499, years of battles, sieges and invasions ensued; the Castle was subjected to a number of raids and suffered extensive damage. Under Spanish domination, star-shaped fortifications were added to the Castle, making it unassailable, and it was transformed into a military citadel complete with supplies, fodder and water wells.
In agreement with the people of Milan, who saw the Castle as symbolic of centuries-old foreign tyranny, Napoleon ordered the demolition of the Castle’s external structures. Despite some losses, the Sforza Castle survived destruction and was restored at the beginning of the 1900s by the architect Luca Beltrami, who worked tirelessly to make the Castle appear as original as possible.