Lucca's Guinigi Tower

PUBLISHED ON 09/05/2018 IN PLACES TO VISIT , TRAVEL TIPS

During the medieval times more than 250 between towers and steeples adorned the city of Lucca, but only a few of them have nowadays remained, the Guinigi Tower is the most important and representative tower of the city which has been preserved till today. The main feature of the Guinigi Tower, and certainly the one that makes it famous, is the presence of a roof garden with some centuries old oaks, on its top (the tower is 44.25 meters high).

In the early 1300, within the circle of walls which was much narrower than today, Lucca was proud of the large number of towers and steeples, and the Guinigi Family, rich merchants at the top of the city, from the 13th century focused their mansions in the district between via Sant'Andrea and via Guinigi, which has preserved almost intact its medieval appearance. Typical example of Romanesque-Gothic architecture of Lucca, the compact complex of their buildings also expanded rapidly in the neighboring streets.

The Guinigi Tower stands imposing in Via Sant'Andrea, and was not built to be used for defense or as a home, but mostly to demonstrate the importance of Guinigi family. They were feudal lords and landowners, which in the 13th century enhanced their wealth and became well-known in trade routes and art exchange. The Guinigi Tower was built to soften their stern homes and became a symbol of rebirth.

The tower was built in terracotta, and its massive structure was lightened by “trifore” and “quadrifore”and decorated with coats of arms, frames and plates. Since then Guinigi Tower is one of the city landmarks, and today is owned by the City of Lucca by the will of the last descendant of the family. The Tower is certainly one of the places not to be missed in the city: the climb is challenging, but its top is one of the most attractive places to admire, under the old oaks shade, the small architectural jewels that Lucca encloses.

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