The castello Maniace is one of the most important monuments of the Swabian period in Syracuse and one of the most beautiful castles of Frederick II.
At the site where the Castle fortifications were almost certainly exist since the times of the Greeks as it is strategically important for the defence of the Grand Harbour. It is therefore credible the thesis that in 1038, the Byzantine Commander George Maniaces, from which the castle is named, has promoted the restoration or building works to defend the port of Ortigia during his military campaign. A few years after the Arabs took possession again of Syracuse and of the Manor who held it until 1087 when they were defeated and driven out by the Normans. There are however no traces of the former building.
The original building of the Castello Maniace is due to the emperor Frederick II, who commissioned the realization to the architect Riccardo da Lentini between 1232 and 1239, shortly after returning from the crusade in the Holy land. The construction took place in the same amount of time that sprang up a few other castles of Frederick II "from Sicily and southern Italy. The resemblance is architectural evidence. Passed to the Angevins in 1266 he was assaulted and captured by the population of Syracuse in revolt the 11 April 1282. In 1302 Frederick of Aragon vi signed the Armistice with the Angevins.