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BAIA CASTLE

 

From its strategic position, the castle dominates the bay of Pozzuoli. It appears to have subject to many architectural impositions distorting it over the course of the centuries, the most significant being noted as those carried out by Don Pedro Álvarez de Toledo, Don Emanuel Fonseca and Ferdinand IV. It represented an insurmountable barrier for anyone trying to gain access to the land from the coast. Indeed, it appears to be castle built with the purpose of defending the coast from Saracen attacks. Following a terrible eruption which occurred on a single night late in 1538 it was damaged; that same eruption gave birth to Monte Nuovo, the New Mount. The Spanish Viceroy to Naples, Don Pedro Álvarez de Toledo ordered reconstruction works to be carried out making the castle a defensive structure against the Saracen invasions. However, Baia Castle was not only a military structure; it was also representative of political and social gatherings, was where criminal verdicts were maliciously carried out and, in the 1800s, was where Garibaldi spent his holidays. As a result of World War I, the castle assumed the role of an orphanage to provide a home for the sons of those fallen.

 

 

 

ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM

 

Established in 1993, the Phlegraean Fields’ Archaeological Museum is found in the north eastern tower of the Aragonese Castle in Baia. The exhibition is divided into three sections; a hall with plaster casts of approximately 60 fragments, as found in Baiae, dating back to the Roman era which reproduce the workmanship of the classical period and Hellenistic art, and two other displays in the Pincer Tower which present eleven marble column stumps discovered in the memorial chapel dedicated to Augustali of Miseno. On the first floor there is a reconstruction of the memorial chapel dedicated to Augustali with statues of the Flavian dynasty. The exhibition on the upper level is a reconstruction of Emperor Claudius’ nymphaeum.

 

 

 

TEMPLE OF SERAPIS

 

The "Macellum" (market) is now known as Serapis or, more correctly, the Temple of Serapis following the discovery of a statue of Serapis, the Egyptian god. Despite the subsequent and repeated restoration works, the artefact can be traced back to the Flavian dynasty. The Macellum was precision worked with rare marble and wonderful mosaics and had a half-domed apse under which the statue of Serapis was guarded, constituting a true and just sanctuary in adoration of the god. The Serapis owes its fame to the phenomenon of Phlegraean bradyseism; date mussels' (molluscs) perforation of the Corinthian columns, made of cipolin marble, gives an exact measure of how deep the building was submerged below sea level.

 

 

 

RIONE TERRA

 

Rione Terra has played a significant role in the history of Pozzuoli given that it was one of the first ancient settlements under legitimate rule which later became an independent Roman community, namely Puteoli ("Little Wells", referring to the numerous hot springs in the area). For years, Rione Terra was not only the heart of the city, it was also the fortress.

 

 

 

SOLFATARA

 

Between the mountains known to the Romans as Leucogei is Solfatara or, according to Strabo (the Greek historian, geographer and philosopher), Forum Vulcani. The last eruption of Solfatara occurred in 1198; its present activity is rich in sulphates with ongoing gaseous emissions of water vapour, sulphur and sulphite.





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