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« "Plandemic" Movie Trailer Released | Main | Damn The Torpedoes! Full ONT Ahead! »
May 26, 2023

Medieval Manhattan Cafe

bolgnatwotowers.jpg
Two of the remaining medieval towers of Bologna,
by @ansharphoto
Video of the towers in the eighth "slide" here

Medieval Bologna was an interesting place. The wealthy got into a tower-building craze -- the towers actually just being expensive homes, or castles, if you like -- and the city featured more than 100 of them. It was virtually a city of skyscrapers. Well, 100-150 foot skyscrapers.

bolognacityoftowers.jpg
Medieval Bologna, full of towers,
as imagined by modern engraver Toni Pecoraro (b. 1958, Agrigento, Sicily).

See, I'm not lying. Wikipedia says so and you know they never lie, nope, not about anything.

Between the 12th and the 13th century, Bologna was a city full of towers. Almost all the towers were tall (the highest being 97m), defensive stone towers. Besides the towers, there are still some fortified gateways (torresotti) that correspond to the gates of the 12th-century city wall (Mura dei torresotti or Cerchia dei Mille), which itself has been almost completely destroyed.

The reasons for the construction of so many towers are not clear. One hypothesis is that the richest families used them for offensive/defensive purposes during the period of the Investiture Controversy.

In the 13th century, many towers were taken down or demolished, and others simply collapsed. Many towers have subsequently been utilized in one way or the other: as prison, city tower, shop or residential building. Still, the towers remained a famous sight of Bologna throughout the later periods; even Dante mentioned some of the towers in his Inferno. The last demolitions took place during the 20th century, according to an ambitious, but retrospectively unfortunate, restructuring plan for the city; the Artenisi Tower and the Riccadonna Tower at the Mercato di mezzo were demolished in 1917.

Fewer than twenty towers can still be seen in today's Bologna. Among the remaining ones are the Azzoguidi Tower, also called Altabella (with a height of 61 m), the Prendiparte Tower, called Coronata (60 m), the Scappi Tower (39 m), Uguzzoni Tower (32 m), Guidozagni Tower, Galluzzi Tower, and the famous Two Towers: the Asinelli Tower (97 m) and the Garisenda Tower (48 m).

...

The towers must actually have crowded Bologna in the Middle Ages and there has been considerable debate about their peak number before the first ones were demolished to avoid collapse or for other reasons.

The first historian to study the towers of Bologna in a systematic way was Count Giovanni Gozzadini, a senator of the Italian kingdom in the 19th century, who studied the city's history intensively, not least to raise the prestige of his home town in the context of the now united Italy. He based his analysis mostly on the civic archives of real estate deeds, attempting to arrive at a reliable number of towers on the basis of documented ownership changes. His approach resulted in the extraordinary number of 180 towers, an enormous amount considering the size and resources of medieval Bologna.

More recent studies pointed out that Gozzadini's methodology might have led to multiple counts of buildings, which could have been referred to in legal documents by different names, depending on the name of the family who actually owned it at a given moment. More recent estimates reduced therefore the number to a total between 80 and 100, where not all towers existed at the same time.

I choose to believe "more than 100." Based on the fact that I already typed that and don't want to edit it.

Medievalism buff/RPG geek Shadiversity talks about the "City of Castles" here.

Here's a video about them, with images of the extant towers. He tells an interesting, bloody story at 2:18. Not sure I buy the arrows remaining to this day. But, print the legend I guess.

What's up with this dolphin?

Making dinner straight from the farm, in Sicily.

Introducing a friend to your baby.

What a little gentleman. Whoops, no, check the videotape, he's a straight-up cad!

The second video here is nice.

This idiot, who is probably driving a stolen car, seem to have never driven a car except in GTA, and on easy mode, too.

I think this raft is being towed by a snowmobile. They take a fun spill.

BMX on Endor.


This is the luckiest man alive. Except for the heart attack and coma. But apart from that: Luckiest man in the world.

Slow-motion landing.

Gals love primping themselves in the bathroom together.

Oh my goodness, this dog has no one to play fetch with so he throws the ball off a bridge and then goes to fetch it!

Monkey steals man's glasses, and then a zoo worker has to pay the monkey off to get the glasses back. They know this just encourages the thievery, don't they?



The continuing legend of Scott Sterling, the man with the golden nose:

digg this
posted by Ace at 07:15 PM

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