Pictures of Castello Estense Ferrara Italy - { 8 images } Created 15 Apr 2016

Pictures images photos of the Castello Estense, Este Castle, Ferrara, Italy. The Este family were a powerful medieval Italian dynasty that were the medieval lords of Ferrara. The Castello Estense was not built just to protect the Este Lords from the attack of other medieval Lords but also from their own people. In 1385, when the Marquis of Ferrara was Nicolo II d’Este, the people of Ferrara were oppressed by taxes and a series of devastating floods. They blamed their ruin on the high taxes levied by judge and advisor to the Marquis Tommaso da Tortona so they revolted and surrounded the Este Palace that then stood at the end of the Duomo Square. To calm the crowd Nicolo II d’Este was left with little choice but to feed Tommaso to the angry crowd who summarily tore him apart. To make sure this did not happen again and to strengthen the defences of Ferrara Castello Estense was constructed with a moat to keep the people and enemies at bay. Nicolo II d’Este commissioned Bartolino da Novara to design the Castello Estense which would be dedicated to St. Michael. The design was based on the Castello San Giorgio, which had also been built by Bartolino, and utilised an existing watch tower. The end result was a fortification that was connected by a bridge over the moat to the Este Palace so the family could escape to the castle in times of trouble. In 1476 after an abortive coup by Nicolo Este to take Ferrara from this uncle Ercole I d’Este, it was decided to make the Castello Estense into the apartments of the Duke and Duchesses of Ferrara and court engineer Pietro Benvenuti degli Ordini was commissioned to extend the castle. Successive Dukes of Ferrara added wings and towers to Castello Estense but after an earthquake in 1570 which led to a fire in the castle apartments it was refurbished and remodelled into the building we see today. At that time painters such as Girolamo Bonaccioli, Ludovico Settevecchi, Leonardo da Brescia and Sebastiano Filippi, known as Bastianino worked in the castle. Pictures and sculptures were purchased for the Antiquarium; the Apartments, the Studies and the Galleries were reorganised; the Appartmento dello Specchio (Mirror Apartment) was frescoed; the Cappella Ducale (Ducal Chapel) was decorated and the courtyard was given a Renaissance decorative appearance.

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