Porta Sant'Angelo, Perugia

City Gate in Perugia

Porta Sant’Angelo
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Ricci Mariagrazia

Porta San Michele, the largest medieval gate in Perugia, stands as a testament to the city’s rich historical and architectural heritage. It is the largest medieval gate in Perugia, fortified by Ambrogio Maitani in 1326, is part of the 14th-century city walls. With its multiple construction phases, strategic importance, and symbolic associations, the gate is a significant landmark. Visitors can explore its historical significance through the Museum of the City Walls and Gates and enjoy panoramic views from its roof terrace.

Architectural Evolution

  • Three Construction Phases: The gate’s structure presents three distinct levels, each from different construction phases marked by the use of various materials:
    • First Level: Made of sandstone, similar to the contemporary city walls.
    • Second Level: Constructed with limestone, dating back to the 1370s. This phase was initiated by GĂ©rard du Puy, known as Abbate di Monmaggiore, the Papal Legate. He linked it to the fortress of Porta Sole and Porta di S. Antonio due to the strategic importance of the location.
    • Third Level: Built with bricks between 1416 and 1424 by the architect Fioravante Fioravanti, following the orders of Braccio Fortebracci, the Lord of Perugia. This phase included the transformation into a keep, featuring trapdoors, slits, and embrasures, completed in 1479.

Historical Significance

  • Restoration: The gate has undergone several restorations over the centuries. Since the 1990s, it has hosted the Museum of the City Walls and Gates.
  • Splendid View: From the tower’s roof terrace, visitors can enjoy a splendid view of the city.

Naming and Symbolism

  • Name Origin: The gate and the district are named after the paleo-Christian Church of St. Michael the Archangel. The gate’s coat of arms features the wings of the Archangel with a sword at the center.
  • Protector Saint: St. Michael the Archangel, whose feast day is celebrated on September 29. The gate’s color is red, symbolizing the Archangel’s flaming sword and the fire from the nearby woodland.

Historical Routes

  • Royal Street: The gate marks the beginning of one of the five Royal Streets, running northward from the city’s main square.
  • Alternative Names: The gate was also known as the Door of the Armenians due to the ancient Basilian monastery outside the walls, and as the Door of San Matteo and/or San Cristoforo from the names of older gates along the former via della Lungara, now Corso Garibaldi.

The Porta Sant'Angelo, Perugia appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Perugia!

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Visiting Porta Sant'Angelo, Perugia

Address: porta Sant'Angelo, Via dell'Isola Romana, Bastia Umbra, Province of Perugia, Italy
Duration: 20 minutes

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