Bologna's Towers accessible tours handicapped excursions.
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Bologna's Towers accessible tours handicapped excursions
The skyline of Bologna with its distinctive towers, power symbols belonging to the richest families, was unmistakable.
It must have been like the Manhattan of the medieval ages!
Bologna's Towers accessible tours handicapped excursions, there were twin towers here too, only these have held up to centuries of war and become the symbol of the city.
They were strategically located at the point of entry to the city on the ancient Via Emilia.
They used to be interconnected, with a walkway and suspended passageways running everywhere.
This is difficult to imagine today when the towers now appear completely separate from one another at the end of one of the city’s widest streets.
In addition to displaying family prestige, the towers also served an important military function: defence.
By the end of the XII century, there were a hundred of them throughout the city.
This is truly an astonishing number when you consider that to build a 60 meter tower took anywhere from 3 to 10 years!
Only about twenty of these impressive buildings have survived the fires, wars, and lighting strikes and remain standing today.
The Asinelli Tower was built between 1109 - 1119 by the Asinelli family, and in the following century it was acquired by the Municipality of Bologna.
It is 97.20 metres high with a drop of 2.23 meters and an inner staircase of 498 steps completed in 1684.
The plinth is surrounded by a small "stronghold" built in 1488 to house the guards.
Today, its portico hosts a few craft shops and ateliers,to recall the merchants trade of the Medieval "Mercato di Mezzo".
The Garisenda Tower, built around the same period , is much smaller, 47 meters, with a steeper drop 3.22 m due to an early and more marked subsidence of soil and foundation.
Dante, who saw the tower before the process started, compared it to a leaning Anteo in the 31st Canto of his Inferno.
In mid XIV century the tower had to be lowered.
The ashlar covering in selenite stone of the base dates back to the late XIX century.
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