In the centre of the city of L’Aquila there is the castle, which is a mighty square fortress with powerful angular ramparts surrounded by a deep, wide moat. You can enter the castle through a stone bridge to the main entrance, a valuable stone portal with the Carl V coat of arms on top of it.
The castle’s walls are 10 metres thick at the base of the foundations, 5 metres at the top and 30 metres high.
The Forte Spagnolo (Spanish Fort) was built thanks to Don Pedro from Toledo, appointed viceroy in 1532, during the Spanish domination of southern Italy, and planned by the Spanish architect Pirro Aloisio Scivà.
It was never used for important military operations; during the Second World War it was seriously damaged and today, after being restored, it is the seat of the National Museum of Abruzzo.
Inside the museum you can see, on the ground floor, the huge skeleton of the Elephans Meridionalis, found near L’Aquila in 1954 and many objects which belonged to the Italic people and from ancient Roman towns. On the upper floor there are works of art from the Abruzzo school dating from the XIII to XVIII century.