Castello Estense is a fascinating castle in Italy. It was built by the House of Este as a fortress for their estates and town from 1285 to 1393. Castello Estense has been extensively restored, but it still retains its original medieval design. The fortress includes many different parts: an outer wall with three square towers, the four-sided donjon or keeps on top of a hillock, two double walls that enclose the inner court with residential buildings and gardens, and another set of double walls that protect this area. Castello Estense is located on Via Ferrara just east of Highway A22 in Ferrara, Italy.
The inner court is the main attraction. Visitors can see medieval frescoes by artists such as Jacopino del Conte, Lippo Memmi and Niccolò di Pietro Gerini in what was once a chapel for Este family members who died without wills. There's also an elegant courtyard with Italian-style gardens planted with typical flowers of Italy: roses, carnations, lilies and daisies. The castle walls have been restored to show their original height from 1285. Tourists are invited to explore Castello Estense at any time during daylight hours; it's open daily except Mondays (closed).
The castle has a wide range of features including four large towers, one on each corner; two smaller towers in between them; multiple well-defended entrances with heavy gates and portcullis' that protect the inner keep which housed Duke Ercole I d'Este's living quarters and his family members who were kept safe behind high walls. As Italy’s most important defensive work, Castello Estense displays 160 coats of arms representing various families associated with this illustrious dynasty.
Castello Estense is an amazing example of renaissance architecture. You can visit it in Ferrara, Italy to see for yourself. The castle is open every day from 9am-5pm and admission costs about €6 euros per person (children under 18 are free).