Porta del Soccorso (Rescue Gate)

Description

The Porta del Soccorso – Rescue Gate – takes its name by the “rescue” (in Italian “soccorso”) role it used to play in case of emergency: through this hidden passage, the inhabitants of Bergamo could get in or get out from the Walls without being seen. Therefor, it was possible to take enemies by surprise, bashing them from an unexpected point, or escape in case of siege, or even run to defend the Castle of San Vigilio nearby.
This gate was only used in critical situations: normally, nor goods of people used to cross it.


 In order to find it, you have to get to via Cavagnis and take via Sotto le mura di Sant’Alessandro. It is a featureless door, without emblems or other distinctive marks, except for two vertical slots in the stone, testifying the old presence of a drawbridge. It can look like a cellar’s entrance, while actually it led to the square of San Marco Fortress through an underground network of galleries. This square was a space where soldiers, weapons and food supplies used to stay: several galleries started from here and get to the casemates. In case of siege, troops could get out from the Porta del Soccorso and surprise the enemies, thus preventing them from advance towards San Vigilio Castle, the last bastion of Bergamo. At the same time, there was also an outdoor corridor (now disappeared) connecting the fortress to the Castle. Food and munitions used to be carried from here without the enemies noticing. After several historical transitions, from the French to the Austrians, the San Marco Fortress is now privately owned, including the Porta del Soccorso and the amazing underground galleries.

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The Porta del Soccorso – Rescue Gate – takes its name by the “rescue” (in Italian “soccorso”) role it used to play in case of emergency: through this hidden passage, the inhabitants of Bergamo could get in or get out from the Walls without being seen. Therefor, it was possible to take enemies by surprise, bashing them from an unexpected point, or escape in case of siege, or even run to defend the Castle of San Vigilio nearby.
This gate was only used in critical situations: normally, nor goods of people used to cross it.


 In order to find it, you have to get to via Cavagnis and take via Sotto le mura di Sant’Alessandro. It is a featureless door, without emblems or other distinctive marks, except for two vertical slots in the stone, testifying the old presence of a drawbridge. It can look like a cellar’s entrance, while actually it led to the square of San Marco Fortress through an underground network of galleries. This square was a space where soldiers, weapons and food supplies used to stay: several galleries started from here and get to the casemates. In case of siege, troops could get out from the Porta del Soccorso and surprise the enemies, thus preventing them from advance towards San Vigilio Castle, the last bastion of Bergamo. At the same time, there was also an outdoor corridor (now disappeared) connecting the fortress to the Castle. Food and munitions used to be carried from here without the enemies noticing. After several historical transitions, from the French to the Austrians, the San Marco Fortress is now privately owned, including the Porta del Soccorso and the amazing underground galleries.

Not to be missed in this area