Sunday, November 24, 2013

Torre Guinigi

The Guinigi Tower (photo by John Arne Eidsmo)

The Torre Guinigi is one of the most important towers of Lucca, Italy (streetview). The tower, built in stone and brick, is one of the few remaining within the city walls. The main characteristic is the garden with seven oaks on the roof .

At the beginning of the fourteenth century, Lucca was proud of the more than 250 towers that enriched the city. This tower was built by the Guinigi family, then the most powerful and influential in the city. The tower represented the prestige of the family and was the largest in Lucca. Among the medieval towers belonging to private families, it is the only one that has not been severed or destroyed in the sixteenth century. The tower has been donated to the local government by the last descendents of the Guinigi family.

Torre Guinigi (source)

The tower rises to 44.25 meters, standing out from all the buildings of the historic center. On top of the tower is the hanging garden, consisting of a walled box filled with earth, in which seven oak trees were planted. It is not known exactly when the garden was laid out, but in an image contained in the Chronicles of John Sercambi (XV century), one can see that among the many towers of Lucca there was one crowned with trees. The view from the top is outstanding.

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  1. How lovely! I've always been fascinated with garden roof tops like this ! In New York City there are lots of buildings with greenery and nature growing on the roof tops!

  2. I'm surprised the root system is adequate enough to support the tree. Great looking towers.


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