Castel Nuovo often called Maschio Angioino, is a castle in the city of Naples, southern Italy. It is the main symbol of the architecture of the city. Castel Nuovo has been expanded or renovated several times since it was first begun in 1279. Before the accession of Charles I of Anjou to the throne in 1266, the capital of the Kingdom of Naples was Palermo. There was a royal residence in Naples, at the Castel Capuano. However, when the capital was moved to Naples, Charles ordered a new castle, not far from the sea, built to house the court. Works, directed by French architects, began in 1279 and were completed three years later. Due to the War of the Sicilian Vespers, the new fortress remained uninhabited until 1285, when Charles died and was succeeded by his son, Charles II. Castel Nuovo soon became the nucleus of the historical centre of the city, and was often the site of famous events. It now houses the main city museum featuring various collections, but most importantly a picture gallery (with focus on 19th Century Italian painting).
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