Built for an initiative sponsored by Piacenza City in 1342, The Fortress was reinforced and finished by Luchino Visconti in 1347.
It is an impressive building made by bricks, purely defensive in character, strategically dominating the surrounding valley.
In addition the tall tower, soaring on the square, performed the dual function of defense from external enemies and control over the inhabitants.
The Fortress, located on the site of a Roman military settlement (called Castrum Quadratum), presents a unusual shape.
The building is surrounded by a double order of walls: tthe lower, which is also wider, covers two levels, where soldiers usually resided and where, in case of danger, the citizens could take refuge; the higher wall, perpendicular to the other, was reserved for the garrison command.
The tall tower, an excellent observation point, was build for defencive and military purposes and never became a noble residence.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, until the 1960s, the Fortress was used as a prison.
In 1985 many scenes of the film "Ladyhawke" starring Michelle Pfeiffer, Rutger Hauer and Mettew Broderick were set in Castell'Arquato.