Torre Guelfa, Pisa

Tower in Pisa

Torre Guelfa Pisa
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Federigo Federighi

The Torre Guelfa or Guelph Tower stands proudly within Pisa’s Cittadella Vecchia, a historically rich and evocative area that has captured the fascination of passersby strolling along the Lungarni for centuries. Constructed in the 15th century, the tower boasts an unmistakable profile that adds to the charm of its surroundings.

This area, known as Tersana in the early 13th century, was once a hub of intensive shipbuilding activities for the Pisan Republic. It housed shipyards, garages, and slipways, as well as a small church dedicated to Saints Barbara and Reparata. Although much has changed over the centuries, the medieval structures have left their mark, evident in the brick arches integrated into the defensive wall along the Arno River.

In 1394, the new ruler of Pisa, Iacopo d’Appiano, fearing the return of the faction supporting the rival Gambacorti family, transformed the arsenal into a fortified citadel with defensive towers. This became the Cittadella Vecchia, or Old Citadel. During the 15th century, under the rule of the Florentines, the structures of the republican arsenal were permanently altered, and the impressive Guelph Tower, contrasting the now-vanished Ghibelline Tower, was erected.

During the tumultuous events of World War II in 1944, the entire area, including the tower, was severely damaged by bombing. However, in 1956, the tower was reconstructed to its original appearance. Recent restoration efforts led by the municipal administration have made it possible for the tower to be open to the public, offering a captivating view of Pisa, nestled between the gentle curve of the mountains and the lush greenery of the San Rossore park’s pine forest. A visit to the Guelph Tower allows you to immerse yourself in the rich history and scenic beauty of this fascinating area.

The Torre Guelfa, Pisa appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Pisa!

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Visiting Torre Guelfa, Pisa

Address: Torre Guelfa, Pisa, Province of Pisa, Italy
Duration: 20 minutes

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