Thursday, January 29, 2015

Towers of Bologna

The now demolished Artenisi Tower and Riccadonna Tower, with in the background the famous Two Towers (1917)

During the 12th and the 13th century there were between 80 and 100 towers in Bologna I taly. The reasons for the construction of so many towers are not clear. One hypothesis is that the richest families used them for offensive/defensive purposes during the period of the Investiture Controversy.

Bologna 11th Century panorama (Angelo Finelli)

During the 13th century, many towers were taken down or demolished, and others simply collapsed. The last demolitions even took place during the 20th century, according to a restructuring plan for the city. The Artenisi Tower and the Riccadonna Tower (see first photo) were demolished in 1917.

Bologna towers Prendiparte, Asinelli and Garisenda (photo by Sca)

Fewer than twenty can still be seen today. The two most prominent ones are known as the Two Towers; the Asinelli Tower (97m) and the Garisenda Tower (48m). They are the landmark of the city.

next episode: billiard

3 comments:

  1. Interesting post!
    Bologna - among the big towns in northern Italy - contains a lot of towers, but is without a castle or a fortress built in the Middle Age. In fact, before the union of Italy (1860-1918) Bologna was not the capital of a Duchy or a Principality (as well as neighbouring Modena, Ferrara, Parma, Mantua, etc.), but a territory of the Papal States (look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papal_States )

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  2. Towering talents! The nearest we get here in Lanzarote, is the lighthouse - no tall buildings are supposed to be built.

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  3. What amazing constructions! Really impressive.

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