Congresos de la Universitat Politècnica de València, FORTMED2015 - International Conference on Modern Age Fortifications of the Western Mediterranean coast

Por defecto: 
Difese naturali e artificiali nella Catania del secolo XVII
Eugenio Magnano di San Lio, Maria Teresa Galizia, Cettina Santagati

Última modificación: 17-07-2015


After being the center of political and military events of the Kingdom of Sicily in the XIV and XV centuries, the city of Catania gradually lost its military importance , so that under the Emperor Charles V the city had to build by itself its modern defense bastions.

The bastion front was completed only in the side towards the sea, while only a few bastions -some of which remained unfinished- interrupted the rest of the curtain wall, which was characterized by a crown of more than fifty “rompitratta” towers, leaning against the walls of the XIV century. In fact, apart from the front towards the sea, the rest of the walls perimeter was some way defended by natural elements: southwards the sandy shoreline shallows prevented from ships approaching, northwards the rugged lava skiing obstructed the approach to the city.

In 1669, a new lava flow surrounded the city from the west and partly from the south making military unusable both the old Suevian castle and  the curtain wall, while creating another natural defense.

When between 1674 and 1768, following the revolt of Messina, the city of Catania was under the threat of an imminent attack of the French troops, the Spaniards reinforced the fortifications only at those points where lava natural defense was missing. In one of these gates was built a fort with a gateway, later named Fortino Vecchio to distinguish it from a monumental gate built in the XVIII century. In this paper it is proposed the study of this XVII century fortification through the architectural survey: in addition to the door remains a long curtain wall, nowadays incorporated by the houses of the urban expansion of the XVIII and XIX centuries that has conditioned its morphology.


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