The current complex dates back to the 1340s, built by Ubertino da Carrara on the ruins of the previous fortress, destroyed in 1249 by the troops of Ezzelino da Romano. The oldest part dating back to 1056 consisted of a curtain wall with a church and a large central building. In the 11th century, that early structure was incorporated into a series of protective walls and residential buildings until, around the mid-13th century, Ubertino da Carrara restored the castle’s defences. The complex has a square layout, surrounded by a powerful wall punctuated by twelve towers. The keep is located on the hill, overlooking the entire town; the highest point is a square tower with a fortress (the Rocca del Soccorso) on the north-east side which provided access to the castle during the Carrara era. The area inside the curtain walls is now a public garden. The Castle was used for defensive purposes until the city voluntarily sided with the Venetian Republic in 1405 and the entire complex was sold to the Mocenigo family, who had the palace built at the end of the 16th century, where the National Museum of Este is currently based. The gardens of Castle Carrarese, Este are open to the public and entrance is free, including the two keep towers which are open to the public on the first or second Sundays of each month, on an alternating basis.
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