Porta Mesagne

City Gate in Brindisi

Porta Mesagne
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Laurita7825

The Porta Mesagne is the oldest entrance gate to Brindisi, constructed on the foundations of an antemural built in Roman times by Mark Antony for the city’s land defense.

The gate dates back to 1243 when Emperor Frederick II of Swabia, as part of his plan to expand and encompass the urban area within new city walls, commissioned the construction of a triumphal gate as the main entrance to the city.

From Porta Mesagne, the Ruga Magistra originated, corresponding to the present-day Via Carmine and Via Filomeno Consiglio—a straight path leading to the port.

The gate features a Gothic-style pointed arch, contemporary with the nearby castle and connected to it by a barricade. There are attachments for beams that likely supported a wooden roof and door hinges. The upper part still displays remnants of medieval frescoes, probably depicting saints.

A second, smaller door was added around 1930 during restoration work on the entire structure, which was at risk of being demolished.

The adjacent bastion was built during the Aragonese era and later renovated and modified in the Spanish era (1551) by Giovan Battista Loffredo, who made significant alterations to the original structure. The complex was raised with the addition of a low square and masonry to the upper part of the gunboats.

The fortification has a pentagonal plan with three gunboats corresponding to the non-raised sides. On the southwest wall, at the corner, are the coats of arms of Emperor Charles V, the Viceroy of Naples Don Pietro di Toledo, and two of Giovan Battista Loffredo.

The internal rooms, accessible from both Via Cristoforo Colombo and Via Bastioni San Giorgio, host art exhibitions and cultural events.

Adjacent to the bastion, on the internal part or Via Cristoforo Colombo, are the remains of lime pools dating back to Roman times.

The Porta Mesagne appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Brindisi!

This website uses affiliate links which may earn a commission at no additional cost to you!

Visiting Porta Mesagne

Address: Porta Mesagne (o Napoli), Via Bastioni San Giorgio, Brindisi, BR, Italy
Duration: 20 minutes

Nearby Attractions