Savignone Castle has a semi-circular great tower and rear rampart, and its position on a conglomerate spur that presents a cliff of 150 metres on one side is its main natural defence. In the 13th century the Fieschis took possession of Savignone and its castle, which only seemed to be lived in during the summer. The fief was certainly a feather in the cap of this lineage because its position in the Scrivia Valley was excellent for connection between Genoa and the Po area and also for the importance it had acquired in time as a traffic area.
The Fieschis, who had this fief in its power, belonged to the so-called Savignone lineage, one of the two lines that were formed by the two sons of Ugo Fieschi, the founder of the strain. Some other people, who were important not just for Fieschi’s history but also for Genoa and Italy, can also be counted among them. In 1332 Raffaello Fieschi was in contact with Robert of Anjou, from which he obtained some galleys. He took on the role of ambassador several times and seems to have been the person who poisoned Boccanegra.
The 14th century saw the castle pass to different owners among which Andronico Botta and Antoniotto Adorno until the arrival of Obietto Fieschi, who re-acquired it and then lost it again, together with Torriglia. They are complicated years for the relationships in the lineage, in constant conflict with the Sforzas who longed for the property until they managed to obtain Savignone and Montoggio, the main estates. It was Gian Luigi Fieschi the great who ousted the Milanese from the valley, giving such continuity to his dominion that it passed into history with the name of the “Fieschi state”.
The story from now onwards interweaves with the ambitions of the members of the Fieschi family as to Genoa, events that end with the famous conspiracy of 1547 and the resulting siege of Montoggio which, even though not having the same consequences for the Savignone line as for all the other family members, just the same caused its general decline or at least exclusion from the role of characters in the history of Genoa and the Scrivia Valley as it had been during the previous two centuries.References:
The Old Town Hall of Wrocław is one of the main landmarks of the city. The Old Town Hall's long history reflects developments that have taken place in the city since its initial construction. The town hall serves the city of Wroclaw and is used for civic and cultural events such as concerts held in its Great Hall. In addition, it houses a museum and a basement restaurant.
The town hall was developed over a period of about 250 years, from the end of 13th century to the middle of 16th century. The structure and floor plan changed over this extended period in response to the changing needs of the city. The exact date of the initial construction is not known. However, between 1299 and 1301 a single-storey structure with cellars and a tower called the consistory was built. The oldest parts of the current building, the Burghers’ Hall and the lower floors of the tower, may date to this time. In these early days the primary purpose of the building was trade rather than civic administration activities.
Between 1328 and 1333 an upper storey was added to include the Council room and the Aldermen’s room. Expansion continued during the 14th century with the addition of extra rooms, most notably the Court room. The building became a key location for the city’s commercial and administrative functions.
The 15th and 16th centuries were times of prosperity for Wroclaw as was reflected in the rapid development of the building during that period. The construction program gathered momentum, particularly from 1470 to 1510, when several rooms were added. The Burghers’ Hall was re-vaulted to take on its current shape, and the upper story began to take shape with the development of the Great Hall and the addition of the Treasury and Little Treasury.
Further innovations during the 16th century included the addition of the city’s Coat of arms (1536), and the rebuilding of the upper part of the tower (1558–59). This was the final stage of the main building program. By 1560, the major features of today’s Stray Rates were established.
The second half of the 17th century was a period of decline for the city, and this decline was reflected in the Stray Rates. Perhaps by way of compensation, efforts were made to enrich the interior decorations of the hall. In 1741, Wroclaw became a part of Prussia, and the power of the City diminished. Much of the Stray Rates was allocated to administering justice.
During the 19th century there were two major changes. The courts moved to a separate building, and the Rates became the site of the city council and supporting functions. There was also a major program of renovation because the building had been neglected and was covered with creeping vines. The town hall now has several en-Gothic features including some sculptural decoration from this period.
In the early years of the 20th century improvements continued with various repair work and the addition of the Little Bear statue in 1902. During the 1930s, the official role of the Rates was reduced and it was converted into a museum. By the end of World War II Town Hall suffered minor damage, such as aerial bomb pierced the roof (but not exploded) and some sculptural elements were lost. Restoration work began in the 1950s following a period of research, and this conservation effort continued throughout the 20th century. It included refurbishment of the clock on the east facade.