Castello Sforzesco

Milan, Lombardy

The first duke of Milan, Galeazzo II Visconti, commissioned Castle Sforzesco in 1358. But by 1447, locals who had enough of the ruling Visconti familyrazed it to the ground.

That didn’t deter military leader Francesco Sforza, who declared himself the duke of Milan and rebuilt the castle, adding towers for additional defense.

Throughout the years the structure shed its conventional trappings and has become an art-lover’s dream. Sforza’s descendent, Ludovico Sforza, commissioned the likes of Leonardo da Vinci and Donato Bramante to turn the castle into a Renaissance residence.

But by the 1900s the structure had deteriorated to such an extent that it was on the verge of being demolished. That’s when famed architect Luca Beltrami stepped in and suggested the castle be converted into a public building. Today, Castle Sforzesco is home to a multitude of museums welcoming visitors from all over the world.