Venetian Walls of Bergamo

Bergamo, Italy

The Lombardian city of Bergamo is composed of two parts, Città Alta (Upper Town), built up on the hills, and the Città Bassa (Lower Town), which is a lively financial, industrial and administrative centre of national importance.

A milestone in the history of Bergamo was its incorporation into the Venetian State in 1428, which lasted for over three centuries and a half. The two parts of city are separated, both physically and symbolically, by the powerful Venetian Walls, which were built by the Serenissima Republic of Venice in the second half of the 16th century to defend the city, which was the farthermost centre on the Mainland, close to the border with Milan's territory.

The walls never underwent any siege. That is why they remained almost intact to the present day. The system consist of 14 bastions, 2 platforms, 100 embrasures for cannons, 2 armouries, four gates, not to mention the underground structures featuring sallies, passages and tunnels.

 

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Founded: 1561
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy

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4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Paul Ciprian (12 months ago)
Wonderful views from here!
Neil Rands (2 years ago)
I've used Bergamo airport before but normally as a stopping point for other destinations, such as skiing near Milan or Turin. Having now spent 24 hours there I can thoroughly recommend. The city is actually two cities. The "Lower City" is more functional and yet is still with charm. The market is definitely worth a visit, with a range of foods and drinks! The "Upper City" is reached by bus or, more fun, by funicular (there's one on each side). If time/weather (and fitness!) allows, there is a route via steps. If travelling from the airport, a 24hr ticket actually includes all transport, including the funicular - great value. The Upper City is a walled enclave, protected by UNESCO, that has a number of excellent sights and restaurants, bars and shops.
Shona Collins (2 years ago)
UNBELIEVABLE VIEWS spent two days exploring the old city. Weather like the views was spectacular. Make sure you have comfy shoes on makes all the difference. Lots of places to eat and drink. Go up in the Finicular (both of them) and walk back down you won't be disappointed
Gaby Fe (2 years ago)
Very beautiful place. The città alta is gorgeous! I recommend the funicular ride to the top, it's not expensive (1.20€) and a good option to those that want to avoid climbing the stairs. If you are close by I really recommend you to visit it.
Adam McCalden (2 years ago)
Hidden gem of Italy. Well worth the visit, 10 mins on bus from Bergamo airport. The "cable car train" is included in a day ticket, well worth it and a walk along the walls. Would love to go back again
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Heraclea Lyncestis

Heraclea Lyncestis was an ancient Greek city in Macedon, ruled later by the Romans. It was founded by Philip II of Macedon in the middle of the 4th century BC. The city was named in honor of the mythological hero Heracles. The name Lynkestis originates from the name of the ancient kingdom, conquered by Philip, where the city was built.

Heraclea was a strategically important town during the Hellenistic period, as it was at the edge of Macedon"s border with Epirus to the west and Paeonia to the north, until the middle of the 2nd century BC, when the Romans conquered Macedon and destroyed its political power. The main Roman road in the area, Via Egnatia went through Heraclea, and Heraclea was an important stop. The prosperity of the city was maintained mainly due to this road.

The Roman emperor Hadrian built a theatre in the center of the town, on a hill, when many buildings in the Roman province of Macedonia were being restored. It began being used during the reign of Antoninus Pius. Inside the theatre there were three animal cages and in the western part a tunnel. The theatre went out of use during the late 4th century AD, when gladiator fights in the Roman Empire were banned, due to the spread of Christianity, the formulation of the Eastern Roman Empire, and the abandonment of, what was then perceived as, pagan rituals and entertainment.

Late Antiquity and Byzantine periods

In the early Byzantine period (4th to 6th centuries AD) Heraclea was an important episcopal centre. A small and a great basilica, the bishop"s residence, and a funerary basilica and the necropolis are some of the remains of this period. Three naves in the Great Basilica are covered with mosaics of very rich floral and figurative iconography; these well preserved mosaics are often regarded as fine examples of the early Christian art period.

The city was sacked by Ostrogoth/Visigoth forces, commanded by Theodoric the Great in 472 AD and again in 479 AD. It was restored in the late 5th and early 6th century. When an earthquake struck in 518 AD, the inhabitants of Heraclea gradually abandoned the city. Subsequently, at the eve of the 7th century, the Dragovites, a Slavic tribe pushed down from the north by the Avars, settled in the area. The last coin issue dates from ca. 585, which suggests that the city was finally captured by the Slavs. As result, in place of the deserted city theatre several huts were built.

The Episcopacy Residence was excavated between 1970 and 1975. The western part was discovered first and the southern side is near the town wall. The luxury rooms are located in the eastern part. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th rooms all have mosaic floors. Between the 3rd and 4th rooms there is a hole that led to the eastern entrance of the residence. The hole was purposefully created between the 4th and 6th century.