Cittadella Viscontea • • Visit Bergamo

Cittadella Viscontea

Description

This citadel was built in the most central point of Bergamo: why? To defend the city from the enemies attacks and as a sort of garrison house in case of popular uprising, of course, but also to make sure that the subjects always remembered how powerful their rulers were: the Visconti family, head of Milan’s Duchy and Bergamo’s ruler from 1332 to 1428.

Today, this space has become a typical square in Città Alta and still hosts many traces of its past. Coming from the old town, you will walk under the Torre della Campanelle. On west, you will see a medieval postern gate: once you crossed it you’ll find a roman street (the short paved section right before the cobblestones leading to the postern gate) and you will walk under the Romanesque lowered vaults and the cylindrical pillars belonging to an ancient private house.

As soon as you’ve left the portico, you will find the La Crotta garden, a magical place full of beautiful trees, bushes and paved paths made of rectangular sandstone. The stone benches hidden among the vegetation are there for you: enjoy a romantic break!


North of the square, you can see the Adalberto Tower: unfortunately, it’s impossible to visit it, as there is no access from the ground floor and the only way to enter it is using staircase up to the door you can spot at half height!

The reason is easily explained. This tower was also called “Torre della Fame - the Hunger Tower”, because prisoners guilty of serious offenses used to be locked up here.

The citadel’s position was highly strategic: it used to be complementary to the Rocca (another fortress), located at East on the Sant’Eufemia hill, enclosing Bergamo’s old centre between two fortified hills forming a single defensive structure. Symbolically, the whole city was utterly dominated by the Visconti’s fortresses, which used to ruling methods were very intimidating.

The actual stronghold, called Firma Fides, used to stay above, on the San Giovanni hill, where you can now see the Episcopal Seminary.

The current Piazza della Cittadella, instead, dates back to 1379: it was the Hospitium Magnum’s courtyard, housing the accommodations for the military garrison.

Nowadays, in the piazza della Cittadella Square you can also visit the famous museum centre featuring the Civico Museo Archeologico (the Archaeology Museum) and the Science Museum “Enrico Caffi”.

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This citadel was built in the most central point of Bergamo: why? To defend the city from the enemies attacks and as a sort of garrison house in case of popular uprising, of course, but also to make sure that the subjects always remembered how powerful their rulers were: the Visconti family, head of Milan’s Duchy and Bergamo’s ruler from 1332 to 1428.

Today, this space has become a typical square in Città Alta and still hosts many traces of its past. Coming from the old town, you will walk under the Torre della Campanelle. On west, you will see a medieval postern gate: once you crossed it you’ll find a roman street (the short paved section right before the cobblestones leading to the postern gate) and you will walk under the Romanesque lowered vaults and the cylindrical pillars belonging to an ancient private house.

As soon as you’ve left the portico, you will find the La Crotta garden, a magical place full of beautiful trees, bushes and paved paths made of rectangular sandstone. The stone benches hidden among the vegetation are there for you: enjoy a romantic break!


North of the square, you can see the Adalberto Tower: unfortunately, it’s impossible to visit it, as there is no access from the ground floor and the only way to enter it is using staircase up to the door you can spot at half height!

The reason is easily explained. This tower was also called “Torre della Fame - the Hunger Tower”, because prisoners guilty of serious offenses used to be locked up here.

The citadel’s position was highly strategic: it used to be complementary to the Rocca (another fortress), located at East on the Sant’Eufemia hill, enclosing Bergamo’s old centre between two fortified hills forming a single defensive structure. Symbolically, the whole city was utterly dominated by the Visconti’s fortresses, which used to ruling methods were very intimidating.

The actual stronghold, called Firma Fides, used to stay above, on the San Giovanni hill, where you can now see the Episcopal Seminary.

The current Piazza della Cittadella, instead, dates back to 1379: it was the Hospitium Magnum’s courtyard, housing the accommodations for the military garrison.

Nowadays, in the piazza della Cittadella Square you can also visit the famous museum centre featuring the Civico Museo Archeologico (the Archaeology Museum) and the Science Museum “Enrico Caffi”.