Piazza Federico di Svevia, Catania
Castello Ursino is in the vast square dedicated to Frederick II. The castle once stood close to the sea before the devastating volcanic eruption in 1669 surrounded the walls of the castle thereby shifting the coastal boundary by about 500 mt. During the 15th century, the Castle was seat of the Royal Aragonese Family, later a garrison and a prison. Recent excavation work along the external perimeter has revealed some old fortification walls of the city requested by Charles V (in the first half of the 16th century). Today, Castello Ursino houses ruins from ancient Catani’s monuments and from the Museum founded in the 18th century by Ignazio Paternò Castello, Prince of Biscari, a scholar and enthusiast of classical arts and archaeology.