Estense Castle

Castle in Ferrara

Il Castello Estense Di Ferrara
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Nicola Jannucci

In 1385, in Ferrara, a perilous uprising led Niccolò II d’Este to recognize the necessity of constructing formidable defenses to safeguard himself and his family. As a result, the Castello di San Michele was erected, serving as a fortress intended to protect against the threat posed by the populace.

The Estense Castle boasts impressive proportions, complete with moats, drawbridges, and towers that harken back to its distant origins. An elevated covered passageway, which still exists today, connected the castle to the Marquises’ Palace, now known as Palazzo Municipale. As centuries passed and the threat of riots diminished, the castle transformed into a magnificent court residence. It was adorned with rooftop terraces on its towers, marble balconies, a Renaissance-style courtyard (once fully frescoed), and opulent apartments.

The castle’s imposing towers stand proudly at its four corners, serving as symbols of the Este Family’s grandeur: the Torre di Santa Caterina, the splendid Torre dei Leoni, which offers panoramic views of Ferrara, the Torre Marchesana, and the Torre di San Paolo.

The Estense Castle has been awarded the “Quality Museum” designation by the Istituto per i Beni Culturali dell’Emilia-Romagna, recognizing its cultural significance and high standards.

The Estense Castle appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Ferrara!

This website uses affiliate links which may earn a commission at no additional cost to you!

Visiting Estense Castle


10.00 – 18.00 (ticket office closes 45 min. before). Closed on Tuesday.



Address: Estense Castle, Largo Castello, Ferrara, Province of Ferrara, Italy
Duration: 20 minutes

Nearby Attractions

Tours and Activities from Ferrara