Walls of Bergamo: a majestic work never used for military purposes
During the Venetian domination in the XVI century, it was decided to build new walls in order to safeguard the old village. The walls had to be arranged with a modern defense system and with ramparts staggered around a withdrawn wall. This change was made because of the new weapons capable to destroy the old walls. In order to build the fortifications a great number of existing buildings were destroyed, some were religoius and beloved by the population as the Church of Sant’Alessandro. As you can imagine this activity caused displeasure and aven censures on one side and on the other descrive in a definitive way the urban landscape fixing what was filed within the walls.
The ring of the city walls is six kilometers long and the entry is through four gates: Porta Sant’Agostino, Porta San Giacomo, Porta Sant’Alessandro e Porta San Lorenzo. Several part of the walls are fifty meters high and some moats without water were dug.
Inside the fortifications tunnels were hollowed and went through. They were used both as gunboat and ways of escape. One of them lead to the Castello di San Vigilio, placed on the highest top of the hill, the last defensive stronghold. You can visit some tunnels but only with the local speleologists.
Also in the Lower City walls were built, called Le Muraine. They were erected in the Fifteenth century and went down the hills in order to defend the Lower City and its villages. They were used in addiction as a costums barriers. After the abolition of the duty in 1901 they were shot down. In some corners of the city still remain few unexpected evidences of them: the Tower of Galgario and section of battlements in Via del Lapacano.
The Venetian Wall has become the famous place for walking. They are perfect for those who want to enjoy the breath-taking panorama, to have a walk with one’s own dog, to read the newspaper seated on a bench in front of the plain, to run in a special background.
During the summer on the Wall are put open air cafès where meeting friends, whereas the parks settled here and there invite to have a rest or a nice pic-nic.
Walls of Bergamo – not only an admirable historical monument but also a part of the city to live in freedom.