The Leper’s Tower was built on the ruins of an ancient Roman tower and was originally known as the Friour Tower, after the family that lived there. This family, whose name was mentioned for the first time in 1191, also occupied the Ports Decumana, now abandoned.
After several changes of ownership, it was bought by the Order of Saint-Maurice in 1773 and was incorporated into a hospice of charity founded by Jean-Boniface Festaz. The current name derives from the fact that a leper named Pierre Bernard Guasco, a native of Oneglia was imprisoned there from 1773 to 1803. This story inspired Lepers of the city of Aosta, a story written by Xavier de Maistre, published in 1811.
In 1890, the tower was restored. Today it belongs to the Autonomous Region of Aosta Valley, which holds exhibitions at the site.
The Leper’s Tower was founded on a Roman tower whose foundations were excavated in the nineteenth century. A medieval tower was built on the site in the 15th century.References:
Roman Walls of Lugo are an exceptional architectural, archaeological and constructive legacy of Roman engineering, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Walls are built of internal and external stone facings of slate with some granite, with a core filling of a conglomerate of slate slabs and worked stone pieces from Roman buildings, interlocked with lime mortar.
Their total length of 2117 m in the shape of an oblong rectangle occupies an area of 1.68 ha. Their height varies between 8 and 10 m, with a width of 4.2 m, reaching 7 m in some specific points. The walls still contain 85 external towers, 10 gates (five of which are original and five that were opened in modern times), four staircases and two ramps providing access to the walkway along the top of the walls, one of which is internal and the other external. Each tower contained access stairs leading from the intervallum to the wall walk of town wall, of which a total of 21 have been discovered to date.
The defences of Lugo are the most complete and best preserved example of Roman military architecture in the Western Roman Empire.
Despite the renovation work carried out, the walls conserve their original layout and the construction features associated with their defensive purpose, with walls, battlements, towers, fortifications, both modern and original gates and stairways, and a moat.
Since they were built, the walls have defined the layout and growth of the city, which was declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble in 1973, forming a part of it and becoming an emblematic structure that can be freely accessed to walk along. The local inhabitants and visitors alike have used them as an area for enjoyment and as a part of urban life for centuries.
The fortifications were added to UNESCO"s World Heritage List in late 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.