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City walls of lucca - the history

The history of the city wall of Lucca starts with the foundation of the city and continues until the 16th century with progressive enlargements and consolidations.


The Roman city was already surrounded by a wall of regular shape corresponding to the structure of the Roman city and was expanded several times following the increase in population and the evolution of military architecture and firearm techniques.


In the communal period a new wall, which compared to the preexisting Roman structure  expanded on the east and north side to include the San Frediano Church, was built and finished in the 13th century. Via Fillungo, the cardo maximum of the Roman city became later the main street of the city. A third extension of the thirteenth-century wall was added in the fourteenth century, defining the urban perimeter almost corresponding to the current one.



The last intervention, which led to the contemporary configuration of the city wall, began in 1513. At that time the city wall of Lucca became a construction site based on the most advanced theories and experiences in the disciplines of military architecture with many experts from all over Italy and from abroad.
The works went on for almost a hundred years and mobilized a great amount of people and resources. But the result was great.


The access gates, originally three plus two built in more recent times, interrupt the wall like great triumphal arches. Ten bulwarks with basements and the northern platform are dedicated to Saints, except one, dedicated to Liberty, the aspiration of the inhabitants of Lucca and the reason for the construction of the city wall.