The Castle of Pantelleria is one of the oldest architectural works of the island. It is located in a strategic position, at the mouth of the old port of Pantelleria, and dominates the entire city center.
The castle is often called Barbacane Castle , probably due to a transcription error : in fact, near the castle there was a structure called Barbican and it seems that a government official, in the act of writing the list of state property of the island, confused Castle and its Barbican with < em> Barbacane Castle .
The castle of Pantelleria was built around 540 by the Byzantines who probably completed a first fortified structure using materials from older buildings. At that time it was a bulwark to protect the island's maritime traffic, representing the predominant element of the walled city. At that time it was in fact entirely surrounded by the waters of the sea and equipped with a drawbridge for connections with the outside. In the mid-nineteenth century it was used as a prison. During the Second World War it was the seat of the navy, the air force and the fascist militia. Today it is a place of culture .
The castle, built entirely of lava stone, is made up of four floors, one of which is almost completely underground and develops around a central core, a shaped courtyard trapezoidal, has bastions to the north-west and north-east and a second courtyard and a tower on the south-east side.
The internal part consists of a first floor with several rooms and a path leading to the south bastion. west, from where you can enjoy a beautiful view of the port. From one of the rooms it is possible to access the old dungeons of the castle, one of the most interesting parts because it was walled about a hundred years ago and remained intact, and to the circular tower. On the second floor there are large corridors and a cylindrical tower at the top of which there is a clock connected to two bells, one of which dates back to 1750. A second staircase leads to the governor's house and to the rooms for the troops. On the left side of the first courtyard stands the tower known as San Barnabà where, on the second floor, gunpowder was kept.
The Archaeological Museum of Pantelleria is located in the castle of Pantelleria.