Castello Giulio II


The construction of the Castle began in 1483 at the behest of Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere, future Pope Julius II between 1503 and 1513. An example of very high Renaissance military architecture, the project was assigned to the Florentine architect Baccio Pontelli, although some historians indicate that the work was managed by Giuliano da Sangallo. Others, on the other hand, mention Francesco di Giorgio Martini for the project, while Pontelli may have only directed the works.

In the Castle there is a perimeter circuit of firing chambers that connect three towers and a large moat that surrounds it, originally fed by the Tiber. The monumental staircase has been decorated with polychrome frescoes with the myth of Hercules which have been attributed to the school of Baldassarre Peruzzi. In the mid-sixteenth century two episodes marked the decline of the structure and the abandonment of Borgo di Ostia Antica. Before the siege of the Duke of Alba in 1556, the following year in 1557 a flood diverted the course of the Tiber and caused the formation of malarial swamps. The customs function of the Castle therefore passed first to Tor Boacciana and then again for reasons of flooding to Tor San Michele.

Another element of decadence was also the fact that in the 19th century the prisoners destined for forced labor employed by Pope Pius IX in the excavations of the Roman city of Ostium housed in the Castle.


How to visit the Julius II Castle

From 16 October 2021 until 30 April 2022 the Castle of Julius II opens to the public, access is free and reservations are made directly on site.

Opening hours

Every Saturday and Sunday from 10.00 to 16.00.

Access to the Castle will be allowed with accompanied visits at the following times: 10.20, 11.40, 14.00, 15.00.

Come arrivare al Castello di Giulio II

By car:

The Castello Giulio II is located in the Borgo di Ostia Antica Piazza della Rocca, 13 – Rome and can be reached by car via the following main roads:

Rome-Fiumicino motorway
Via del Mare
Via Cristoforo Colombo

By public transport:

Departure from Eur Magliana, take the ROMA-LIDO train to the Ostia Antica stop. On Saturdays and holidays the ROME-LIDO train leaves from Porta San Paolo (Piramide), San Paolo or Eur Magliana

Upon exiting the Ostia Antica station, cross the pedestrian bridge and follow the signs.

Di Redazione

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