Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities

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Castello Svevo di Trani


The Museum

The Castello di Trani forms part of an impressive defensive system built on the orders of Frederick II of Swabia to protect the Kingdom of Sicily. It stands only a short distance from the famous Cathedral, strategically located surrounded by sea, in deep waters which have always provided an excellent natural defence against both the fury of the waves and enemy attacks.

The History

Castello Scevo di Trani

Castello Scevo di Trani

The Castello di Trani was built on the model of the Crusader Castles in the Holy Land, in their turn strongly influenced by the Roman castrum, and is square in shape, reinforced in the corners by four square towers, all of the same height. In the 16C, with the advent of firearms, the Castle was brought up to date with modern defensive techniques, after which it underwent further adaptation in the 19C to allow its use as a prison. In the 1970s it was taken over the Ministry of Education, now the Ministry of culture, which has overseen its restoration and conversion for use as a museum.

The Building

Castello Svevo di Trani - L'edificio

Castello Svevo di Trani - L'edificio

The building has two monumental saloons dating from the time of Frederick II on the first floor. The central keep was subsequently expanded with the construction of bastions (square on the north-east and lanceolate on the south-west), connected to the outer walls, which enclose large secondary courtyards. The Renaissance blockhouse marks the boundary of the central courtyard.


The Collection

A tour of the Castle, with its various interiors and courtyards, gives the visitor an insight into the historical sequence of construction/defensive techniques, which initially made it one of the most modern defensive strongholds of its time for the Swabian dynasty, followed by its Renaissance incarnation with the reinforcement of the southern side and the construction of the bastions, and ending with the 19C adaptations including the prisoners’ cells and the clock tower.
The Castle Museum, on the ground floor of the square bastion, contains stone and pottery items from the excavations carried out during the 20C restoration works.

  • Marble inscription

    Marble inscription

    The Castle's oldest marble inscription, dated 1233, on the gateway to the western courtyard. It commemorates the fortification works undertaken by Frederick II of Swabia.

  • Corbel


    Corbel showing Adam and Eve by the Tree of Knowledge, in the main courtyard, on the facade of the north wing.

  • Fragment of pottery

    Fragment of pottery

    Fragment of primitive majolica pottery from the time of Frederick II from the excavations of midden number 2, decorated with the figure of a dancer.


piazza Manfredi, 16
76125 Trani


Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities


Architettura fortificata


Director: Alessandra Mongelli
+39 0883 506603

More info



Monday: 8.30 – 13.30
Tueseday: 8.30 – 13.30
Wednesday: 8.30 – 13.30
Thursday: 8.30 – 13.30
Friday: 8.30 – 13.30
Saturday: 8.30 – 13.30
Sunday: 8.30 – 13.30

Ticket office closing: 30' before closing time.

Other info:

October 2019 Timetable:
Monday, Tuesday, Saturday: 8.30 - 13.30 (last admission: 13.00)
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 8.30 - 19.30 (last admission: 19.00)

Sunday, 6th October: 8.30 -19.30 (last admission 19.00)
On Sunday, 13th, 20th and 27th October the Castel will be closed


piazza Manfredi, 16
76125 Trani

How to get here

Trani railway station has good links with the main large Italian cities via state railway services: high speed trains run on both the Lecce-Milan and Lecce-Rome lines. By road, from the A14 Bologna - Taranto motorway, take the Trani exit; from the Adriatica 16 BIS Highway, take the Trani exit. The nearest airports are Bari “Karol Wojtyla” (33 km from Trani), Brindisi “Papola-Casale” (145 km from Trani) and Naples “Capodichino” (184 km from Trani). Local and regional bus services are provided by STP, with long-distance services operated by Autolinee MARINO. The Castle is served by AMET TRANI urban bus lines (all lines which stop at Piazza Gradenico, about 400 m. from the Castle).


+39 0883 506603

Full ticket

5,00 €

Reduced ticket

2,00 €

Free: up to 18 years of age and all legally entitled categories of visitors.


The site is accessible to the disabled. There are plastic models and shelves to help the visually impaired.

Audio guides

Available for hire in the ticket office.

Guided tours


Car park

Public car park in the area outside the Castle.


Inside the main courtyard


Refreshment service available in the NovaApulia bookshop


Books and souvenirs are available from NovaApulia