Castello Estense – Ferrara

Piazza Castello, 1

44121 Ferrara

0532 299233

Ferrara’s Castello Estense was built starting in 1385 by the Marquis Nicolò III. The Este family – the feudal lords of the city – built a huge fortress whose first floor was transformed, starting in the late 15th century, first for Eleanor of Aragon and then for the dukes Alfonso I, Ercole II and Alfonso II, into a sumptuous palace with balconies, terraces, hanging gardens, and niches, whose walls were decorated with works by great artists such as Tiziano, Bellini, Dosso Dossi, Garofalo and Bastianino.

Today the Castle, whose layout was designed by Gae Aulenti, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site dedicated to promoting culture and illustrating the history of the Este family, the city of Ferrara, and its surrounding.

From January  2015, Ferrara’s Castello Estense hosts a gallery of masterpieces by Giovanni Boldini and Filippo De Pisis selected from the collections of the Modern and Contemporary Art Museums of Palazzo Massari.  These treasures were stored for safekeeping following the 2012 earthquake and will be made accessible to the public once again thanks to the installation in the castle halls.