Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Walls of Lucca


A MAJESTIC FORTIFIED CITY

Lucca has had three sets of walls in its long history, the Roman, the medieval and the renaissance walls. This one shown above, the last to have been built, was begun in the 16th century and it transformed the entire city into a fortress. The walls were never breached because the invaders never came, and the peaceful years that followed the walls' initial construction rendered them obsolete. This is the gate of San Donato; it's perhaps the handsomest of Lucca's five gates for its almost Palladian simplicity.

These lime trees were planted in the 19th century and they line the old ring road along the wide apron of green that surrounds the city walls.

These are among the best preserved antique city walls in the world. In the 18th century the tops of the walls were transformed into a sprawling public park and it's still a park today.



Guns and cannons would have fired from a side angle at invaders approaching the gate of San Donato, shooting from that cleverly indented space in the distance. But they never had to. What a peaceful town, Lucca.

10 comments:

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello:
It is extraordinary that walls such as these should have survived the centuries to remain in such wonderful condition to be enjoyed even today.

The lime trees are simply lovely, pulling the eye towards a far distance, beckoning one onwards and, we should imagine, wonderfully cool in summer.

From all that we read Lucca is the most magical of towns. We are so excited at the prospect of exploring it for ourselves but fear that we may fall hopelessly in love with it all. And then what?

columnist said...

It seems remarkably devoid of people, which is such a bonus! Perhaps you arose at dawn on a Sunday to take these? I agree the influence of Palladio in the architecture of the gate is a big draw for me.

Paisley Curtain said...

This shows the importance of peace. No wars no skirmishes, result: an absolutely preserved town and it's walls. Hope we humans can learn something from this peaceful town.

Best wishes

the designers muse said...

Just beautiful. My sister-in-law lives in Lucca...I really hope I get an opportunity to visit. What a beautiful city and surrounding.

Paul Gervais de Bédée said...

You keep returning again and again ...

Paul Gervais de Bédée said...

It was 4:00 in the afternoon, in fact. There are busier parts of town at that hour, like anyplace we have our commercial zones and industries and factories and all the services that cater to them, but not on this ring road.

Paul Gervais de Bédée said...

It is a very civilized place by tradition, people enjoying life ...

Paul Gervais de Bédée said...

Do I know her?

Daniel said...

I regret not stopping there...but a busload of my family would've been so tiresome for you! it's a place i'm dying to see though (along with the rest of tuscany)

TJ said...

How beautiful! I just found your blog, and I cannot stop reading. I long to see Lucca and all of Tuscany. I also look to incorporate much of what I see here at home, as we have similar climates.