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City gates

Parts of the “third wall”, which was built at the beginning of the 13th century and demolished at the beginning of the 20th century, is visible through the ten gates. The ten gates can be seen from the ring boulevard around Bologna’s historic city centre.
The city gates (Castiglione, Santo Stefano, Maggiore, San Vitale, San Donato, Mascarella, Galliera, Lame, San Felice, Saragozza) are the only remaining relic of the walls that had protected the town for seven centuries. The San Mamolo and Sant'Isaia gates do not exist anymore.

Source: "Restauro delle porte di Bologna 2007-2009"  (Restoration of gates of Bologna 2007-2009 in Italian)

Porta Castiglione

Porta Castiglione

Porta Castiglione could be called the “Gate of canals” (“Porta dei canali”) because next to it, there was a canal that allowed the Savena river to enter into the town. Waters of Savena were supplying hydraulic energy to dozens of mills that were producing silk and wool.

Porta Santo Stefano

Porta Santo Stefano

Porta Santo Stefano, so called the “Gate to Tuscany” (“Porta per la Toscana”), was built in the 13th century, many times rebuilt and restored during the last two centuries. Its fortification was reinforced in the 15th century. It was heavily damaged by artillery during the siege in 1512 when the original tower was destroyed.

Porta Maggiore

Porta Maggiore

Porta Maggiore could be called the “Gate of honour” (“Porta d'onore”) because it has been standing on the old Roman road Via Emilia that goes towards Romagna region and many sovereigns and popes passed under this gate.

Porta San Vitale

Porta San Vitale

Despite its modest aspect and reduced size, Porta di San Vitale, called the “Gate to Ravenna” (“Porta per Ravenna”), has been very important since its origin because it has been located on an important road leading to Ravenna, the antique capital of the Roman Empire and the religious metropolis on which Bologna was dependent for many centuries.

Porta Mascarella

Porta Mascarella

Porta della Mascarella conserves its original look. It was built in 13th century but it was alternately open and closed.

Porta Lame

Porta Lame

Porta delle Lame could be called the “Water Gate” (“Porta delle acque”) not only because of the near old port and the next standing “salara” (storage of salt) but also because of many lakes and marshland outside of the gate (“lame” in Latin means marshland).

Porta San Felice

Porta San Felice

Porta San Felice could be called the “Gate of the War” (“Porta della guerra”):  the gate was witness of military marches to the enemy on the West...

Porta Sant'Isaia

Porta Sant'Isaia

Porta di Sant'Isaia does not exist any more. It used to stand on the crossing of the ring boulevard, Via Sant'Isaia and Via Andrea Costa.

Porta Saragozza

Porta Saragozza

Porta Saragozza could be called the “Holy Gate” or the “Gate of Pilgrims” (“Porta sacra”, “Porta dei pellegrini”) for two reasons: first – its name should remind of the mythical victory of Christians against Muslims in a faraway Iberian land; second – the gate has been an important point on the way to the hill Colle della Guardia and to the Sanctuary of Beata Vergine di San Luca (Virgin Mary of San Luca) – the goal of many processions and pilgrims.

Porta San Mamolo

Porta San Mamolo

Porta San Mamolo is no more existing, it was destroyed with the wall in 1903. The gate was built in the 12th century and rebuilt several times. A drawbridge over the moat was added in 1334.