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Arches, doors, walls, porticos

I Portici di Bologna

I Portici di Bologna

The nearly 40-km-long  porticoes make the city of Bologna unique in the world and have been nominated as  a UNESCO World Heritage Site . With more than 600 arches and a length covering 3,796 meters , the portico of San Luca  links the town  to the Sanctuary on the top of the Colle della Guardia.

Voltone del Podestà

Voltone del Podestà

Vault under the Palazzo del Podestà. It originally housed the city market and the benches of the notaries; later on, blasphemers were set on the pillory and hangings were performed under its arches.

Arco del Meloncello

Arco del Meloncello

Was completed in 1732 by the architect Carlo Francesco Dotti. From this point diverge the three main porticos of Bologna: To the north, passing alongside the stadium to the Certosa (municipal cemetery); To the east, leading to the Saragozza Gate and the center of the city; To the southwest, the Portico of San Luca, leading up to the Santuario di San Luca (Sanctuary of San Luca).

Voltone di Palazzo Manzoli-Malvasia

Voltone di Palazzo Manzoli-Malvasia

The only original entrance to the former ghetto which still exixts today is the vault connecting San Donato church (18th century) to the ancient Manzoli-Malvasia palace built over the remains of a 13th century house, of which only a few door arches remain.

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 San Donato

Porta San Donato

Porta San Donato was built in the 13th century on the road to Argenta and Ferrara and it was part of a bigger complex together with houses for guards. A drawbridge over the moat was built in 1354.

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 Galliera

Porta Galliera

Porta Galliera could be called the “Gate of the hostile fortress” (“Porta della rocca ostile”) because of the nearby standing fortress built by the cardinal Bertrand du Pouget in 1330-1333. The fortress was repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt: five times between 1330 and 1511.

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” 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 – 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.

Porta Govese

Porta Govese

Is also called Torresotto dei Piella. The Torresotto in Via Piella belongs to the second circle of walls, which began in the late twelfth century.

Torresotto di Porta Nova

Torresotto di Porta Nova

The  torresotto,  or  Porta  Nova  gate,  belongs  to  the  second  ring  of  
walls, the so-called Torresotti ring, completed in 1192.