LE MURA DI LUCCA - infopoint
In the second century BC, the Romans founded the city of Lucca and surrounded it with a circle of walls, about 9 meters high and hinged at the corners by round towers. Four gates protected by proud lions were the exit of the cardo and decumanus maximus, which arose from the city forum, to head from the city towards the four cardinal points.
Around the 12th century, a new wall circle already surrounded the new city of merchants, with large religious buildings, churches and convents, due to its economic and cultural growth. A wall of about ten meters of large limestone ashlars followed the aim of defending the city where it was most needed, growing like a bubble around the previous one and with five access gates.
But that still wasn't enough. In the sixteenth century a construction site was started which remained open for almost a hundred years, everyone was asked to contribute, money from the rich, working hours from the poor. When the works were completed, the city and other undeveloped areas were included in the new walls.
Four kilometers and a few hundred meters, twelve meters high by about thirty meters at the base of the escarpment. Ten bastions on the corners with large casemates and a platform on the north straight. Three entrance gates, Santa Maria, San Donato and San Pietro, large grass terraces crossed by a large moat with a ditch to overflow, if necessary, to make the city an impregnable island.
But also the buttresses, now lost, the lunettes for the military outposts, and the tagliate area where it was forbidden to build and cultivate tall trees.
You can learn more about this long and great history at the new "Le Mura di Lucca" Infopoint at the Porta San Donato Nuova Castle on the Renaissance Walls.
At the infopoint, which will soon be enriched with information and contents for visitors, you can find a small display about the history and structure of the Renaissance Walls (in Italian and English) and reproductions of the 4 wall circles in Lucca over the centuries.
Furthermore, new maps dedicated to the Walls of Lucca are being distributed, where you can find information on the history and structure of the Walls but also on the monumental trees and on the associations housed in the barracks and the castles above the gates.
The new San donato gate is part of the Renaissance Walls. Built between 1628 and 1639 on a project by Muzio Oddi da Urbino, it is one of the three original gates. On the sides of the gate, on the external front, the statues of San Paolino, to whom a little angel offers the city of Lucca, and San Donato.
The Mura di Lucca Infopoint is open every day from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.
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