Torre del Mangia
Torre del Mangia (Tower of the Eater) is a magnificent tower in the Tuscan city of Siena, Italy. The tower took a whole decade to be constructed and became the stronghold of many governors in its time. It was built between the years of 1338 and 1348. The place holds a scenic charm to it, which adds to the city’s magnificent architecture and is situated in Piazza del Campo (Campo Square).
The tower was built to rival the tallest tower in all of Florence. It was the tallest tower of its time, with a height of 88 meters. Currently it is the third tallest tower in all of Italy. Torre del Mangia, the name which was given to this tower, was derived from the nick name of its guardian; Giovanni di Balduccio. Giovanni was nick named Mangiaguadagni.
The upper structure of the tower was designed and structured by Lippo Memmi; a famous architect, in his time. Cappella di Piazza (Cappella square) was made part of the tower in 1352, after the infamous Black Death epidemic. The survivors built it as a vow for the holy virgin. Mariano d’Angelo Romanelli and Bartolomeo di Tommé designed the sculptures which decorate the entrance to the tower.
In 1360, a mechanical clock was fitted in the wall of the tower, along with three bells at the highest point within the tower. The greatest of the three bells has been given the name “Sunto”.
The loggia; which are the sculptures present at the tower’s entrance, used to be covered by a simple ceiling. It was later turned into an elaborately designed Renaissance marble vault, stunning in its architecture. This vault was constructed during the years 1461-1468. The order of their construction was given by Antonio Federighi.
It was built to match the height of Duomo di Siena (Siena Cathedral) to signify that the church and the state were equal in prowess and held the same level of authority. Its walls are 3 meters wide and have been designed with intricate precision.
Bordering the tower is the Palazzo Pubblico (Public Palace), whose Gothic architectural style and design, has become the inspiration of many people. A fresco was painted over the Altar in later years, which was then moved into the Palazzo Pubblico.
The tower can be seen from all parts of Siena, no matter where you might be standing. Once you reach the highest pinnacle of the tower, you can enjoy beautiful scenery and views of the surrounding countryside.
So whenever you make plans to visit Siena, make sure to check out Torre del Mangia and Palazzo Pubblico; gorgeous places with interesting design and strong historical backgrounds.