Gaeta Military Town

Fence walls, castles, sighting towers and bases: Gaeta has always been a military town.

Gaeta has played an important part in military history and it is still a military town with national and international military districts.

In the aftermath of the decision taken by France to close the naval base in Marseilles, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization recognized Gaeta as an important seaport.

Nowadays, the so-called “cittadella” is run by the Italian Navy and it hosts NATO ships for maintenence works.

Over the centuries, Gaeta has resisted more than 18 sieges and that is the reason why there is an incredible number of military fortifications and protective structures that are very attractive to tourists and historians.

“Carolina Powder Keg” is the most evocative place to visit, it dates back to the Bourbon era and it was partially destroyed during the World War II.
Ferdinand II, called the Catholic, started a new system of fortification of the promontory and in 1530 Charles V completed a new and more extensive wall that is still clearly visible near the cliffs.
It can be considered as a unique work that made Monte Orlando an impregnable promontory.
During the second half of the seventeenth century, Ferdinand IV started the construction of the powder kegs Torre d’Orlando, Carolina, Ferdinando and Trabacco containing 2700,00 tons of powder.
The Carolina powder keg, as is well known, blow up on September, 2 1939.

The Angevin castle, that dates back to the IV century, was fortified by Frederick of Swabia between 1222 and 1234 and it was home to the military prison between 1862 and 1880.

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