Castello di San Zeno, Montagnana (PD), Veneto, Italy

The castle of S. Zeno rises in the place of an early medieval installation that was the residence of the heirs of Ugo the Great of Tuscany, who later became marquis of Este.
Castello di San Zeno - Montagnana(PD), Veneto
The present building goes back for the most part to the 13th century when Ezzelino, after given Montagnana to flames in 1242, decided to rebuild and fortify the town. The building has a rectangular plan with an ample inner courtyard. Till the early 19th century, the castle was surrounded by a ditch, and also comprised towers. Originally the drawbridge that crossed the ditch giving entrance to the city, led probably into the inner courtyard of the castle.

When Padua, Verona and the other cities in Veneto were subdued by Venice and stopped their never-ending mutual struggles, Montagnana flourished thanks to its agricultural production, especially hemp. The castle of San Zeno was then turned into a deposit of hemp and even troop lodging.

When the Austrians took over Veneto (Napoleon gave the area to them with the Campoformio Treaty, betraying the Venetian republic) and still later on with the kingdom of Italy and until the First World War the castle continued to be used as military lodgings.