At the top of a bank that dominates over the sea, on the north-east side of Capraia, stands the Forte di San Giorgio. The castle is one of the main symbols of the island: indeed, its image is even present in the city’s emblem. Its construction dates to 1540, when the Republic of Genoa intervened to liberate the island from the privateer Dragut. The castle is located on top of the old Castello Pisano (Pisan Castle), built in 1200 and destroyed by the pirate.
Its function as protection and hospitality for the entire community made the development of the port area possible. Unfortunately, a landslide in the 1800s – the signs of which are still visible from the sea – gravely damaged it on the east side and caused many deaths in the “women’s quarter,” which included a convent.
The castle was recently renovated and discoveries made during the restoration have allowed us to learn some of the secrets enclosed in this impressive work of architecture. For example, under the floor in the main room, the Church of Capraia was rediscovered, active from the 1400s to the mid-1700s. The church was also the burial place for 150 men (probably killed by an epidemic). The other spaces in the castle were used as a residence and included a ventilated room where salt was conserved.
Source: Fabio Guidi