The castle's site is well suited for harbour defence, and appears to have been so used since the 15th century. According to the Record Office of Genoa, cannon batteries were constructed on the site in the early 16th century, and military engineer Gian Maria Olgiato drew up plans for a full fortress circa 1554. The resultant castello was completed by 1557, and, in 1575, was instrumental in turning back an attack on the town by Giò Andrea Doria. From 1622 to 1624, the structure was enlarged, and in this form it survived for a century and a half, until a 1798 attack by the English (during Napoleon's reign) destroyed its little tower. The fort was then abandoned after the Congress of Vienna in 1815.
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