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Rocca CostanzaRocca Costanza
Sunday 25 February 2018

Rocca Costanza

Rocca Costanza

Built by Costanzo Sforza between 1474 and 1483, Rocca Costanza is the most important fortification in the city. The plan was begun by the engineer Giorgio Marchesi da Settignano and handed over to another after a few months, perhaps to Luciano Laurana. A contract of February 12th. 1479 (for a supply of some materials) is the last document in which the architect is named; he died that year.

The work continued under Cherubino da Milano, though held up by an epidemic of the plague. The city was occupied on October 28th. 1500 by Cesare Borgia who deposed Giovanni, the natural son of Costanzo, and filled the trench round the fortress with water from the Adriatic Sea, perhaps on the advice of Leonardo da Vinci, his military engineer.

Once Sforza dominion was restored Giovanni completed work on the trench which Cesare Borgia had begun. He was also responsible for organising the residence and restoration as a whole. In 1513, after Giovanni’s death in 1510,  his brothers Galeazzo passed the Rocca to Franceso Maria I Della Rovere, Duke of Urbino and new Lord of Pesaro.

After the dukedom had devolved to the Papal State, the building was further restored in 1657. It was converted to a prison in 1864 and ‘freed’ from this function in 1989. It is now a summer location for cultural events, some connected with the Rossini Opera Festival, and is at present undergoing complex restoration.


Text based on: Federica Tesini, Pesaro. Itinerari di una città d’arte, Pesaro, Arti Grafiche Pesaresi Editore, 2009, p. 18



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