The Gates Of the Walls Of Lucca City
Porte Della Mura De Lucca or the gates of the walls of the city Lucca are beautiful constructions belonging to old times and provide entry into the city of Lucca. Some of them were built along with the building of the walls of Lucca during the Renaissance era in the 16th century while others were built later on. The gates were once a very important and delicate part of the security framework that surrounded the city and helped to prevent attacks from neighboring cities and provinces like Pisa among others.
The earliest design of the walls of the city Lucca and its four entry points is ascribed to the 2nd century BC and was accomplished during the era of the Roman Empire. The rectangular wall structure built at that time was adjacent to Via San Giorgio in the north, Garibaldi’s course in the south, Via Galli Tassi in West and Rosa in East.
As of now there are six gates on the walls of the city of Lucca. These are listed and described below.
Porta Santa Maria
The Porta Santa Maria gate was built in the year 1592 and opens towards the Piazza Santa Maria. It is located in the north direction of Lucca and was built during the Renaissance era. The designers of this gate were Michelangelo Gabrielli and Chinese Bresciani. The gate has been dedicated to Virgin Mary (Mother of Jesus). Madonna’s marble statue is built on the door of the gate. Initially the door had only one side. Later the openings were increased to two. The statues of panther on either openings of gate-side are the symbol of Lucca city. The gate was the terminus of a tramway by the name Lucca Ponte A Moriano that was operated by a company called Lucchese from the year 1883 onwards. The tramway service was later abandoned in the year 1932. The area is now a walkway and the gates provide a passage to cars.
Porta San Jocopo
The Porta San Jocopo is the most recently built gate of all and was built in the year 1930. The gate also faces the north direction (as the Santa Maria gate). The doors show some sort of fascist writings that are now not legible.
Porta Elisa was built in the year 1811 and is dedicated to Elisa Bonaparte Baciocchi (sister of Napoleon Bonaparte) who was the princess of the province of Lucca in the early part of 19th century. The gate faces the east direction. This gate was built later on in the 19th century by Napoleon to face the threats from the bordering areas of Florence. These threats did not exist earlier. Princess Elisa also wanted to give a facelift to the beauty and security of Lucca as the city was not up to the standards of French cities at that time.
The door has 3 arches and is built in neo-classical style. The metopes and triglyphs have the Doric-Dorian Greek and Roman style architecture. The two columns of the gate have been built in the Tuscan late-Renaissance Italian architecture style. A parapet surrounds the wall level. From the gate, a new road of the city of Lucca was started which was called Via Elisa, during Napoleon Bonaparte times. The road was built to commemorate his victories and success. A football stadium is now located here and is called The Stadio Porta Elisa Of Lucca. The tramway called Lucca Monsummano (run by a company named Electrical Tramway Lucchesi) has one of its stops here at the gate. The stop was abandoned in the year 1957.
Porta San Pietro
The Porta San Pietro gate was built in the year 1565 and opens at the railway station. The gate faces the south direction. The gate was built during the Renaissance era by Alessandro Resta. The gate has three doors. Two lions are beautifully crafted on the sides of the walls. On the top of gate St. Peter with the Libertas has been depicted.
Porta San Donato
The gate Porta San Donato faced the western direction and was completely constructed by the year 1639. It was also built in the Renaissance era along with the gate walls. There was earlier a draw bridge attached to the gate. At the doors of the gate, you will find the statues of San Paolino and San Donato.
Porta Santa Anna
Porta Santa Anna opens at the square of Verdi and has been named after the St. Anne church that is located outside the walls of the city Lucca. The port was built for making the traffic flow easy in the year 1910.