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“The first application to a city gate of a defensive model typical of the fortresses”
Review of Porta Volterrana

Porta Volterrana
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Reviewed 28 March 2016

This gate is a major episode of military architecture, because in it for the first time the architectural models that were characteristic of the fortresses, that is, the circular towers linked by a curtain wall, were applied to a city gate.
The gate is the collective work of more military architects, among which the best known is Giuliano da Sangallo (author, among other things, of the Villa Medici at Poggio a Caiano near Florence, as well as of the dome of the Loreto's Basilica, Marche).
The gate is the result of a reconstruction and strengthening's work, which took place after the fierce siege of Colle di Val d'Elsa, which lasted since September until November 1478.
The town of Colle, as fortress of the Florentine Republic, was then besieged by the troops of the formidable alliance between the King of Naples and the Duke of Urbino, also supported by the Pope and by the neighboring Republic of Siena. This is called "Pazzi War", so named after the Florentine family, a bitter enemy of the Medici family, which gave rise to it.
The Colle citizens during the siege behaved heroically, but eventually they had to. capitulate.
However in 1481, following a reversal of alliances, the Republic of Florence re-established its rule over Colle, and the gate, featured as we see it today, could be built.
It therefore reminds us of a time when the wealth and power of this part of Europe was certainly not accompanied to a peaceful condition.

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