The small island on which the Aragonese Castle stands is linked by an isthmus to the ancient maritime village of Ischia Ponte or Borgo di Celsa.
This small island in the island seems to have originated between 280,000 and 340,000 years ago following a volcanic eruption. Some authors attribute the building of the castle to Gerone, a tyrant from Syracuse, who in 474 BC is said to have built and fortified a stronghold on this volcanic rock with access to the sea. Hence the name ‘Gironda’, by which the castle is known.
It would have been on the foundations of this ancient stronghold that the present-day castle, with its access to the island, was built for Alfonso V of Arago in around 1438.
According to the more reputable theory, however, the name “Giron-Gironis” is considered to derive from the natural morphology of the island, which can be circumnavigated.
In reality, the castle probably originated as a strategic military station in about the fifth century, during the Byzantine era, when new “castra” or “castella” were erected as part of the territorial organisation, often along the coastline, with their provisions and assistance provided by the fleet.
The name that it was given, “Castrum Gironis”, is considered to indicated the presence of a garrison on the rock.
The small island on which the Aragonese castle stands is linked by an isthmus to the ancient maritime village of Ischia Ponte or Borgo di Celsa.