Porta Soprana City Gate
City Gate and City Walls in Genova
This grandiose entranceway, adorned with twin towers, served as the primary passage into the ancient city from the East, specifically the Levant region. In the years spanning from 1155 to 1158, in response to the looming threat of an assault by the army of Frederick Barbarossa, the people of Genoa engaged in the construction of new city walls and gates. This strategic endeavor proved pivotal, as it shielded Genoa from potential attack by the imperial forces. As a result, Emperor Barbarossa was compelled to negotiate with a city that not only wielded significant power, but also commanded a formidable fleet capable of containing any land-based military incursion.
Subjected to restoration efforts in the early 20th century, Porta Soprana leaves an indelible impression through the vigor embodied by its towers. Equally captivating is the grace exhibited by the entrance arch, which features an ogival shape. Remarkably, this design predates the widespread adoption of such an arch as a defining feature of Gothic art. The arch is flanked on both its inner and outer sides by robust marble columns adorned with splendidly embellished capitals.
While the towers themselves remain inaccessible to the public, the enduring architectural prowess of Porta Soprana continues to stand as a testament to Genoa’s historical might and strategic importance.
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