The Aragonese walls ~ Taranto Capitale di Mare

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The Aragonese walls

Piazza Castello, 74123 Taranto TA



The Aragonese age marks a moment of profound transformation of the urban layout of the Taranto. In fact, during these years, some important reorganization works were started: their aim was to re-organize the urban spaces and improve the defence of the city. Probably under the pressure of the various sieges (in particular the Turkish threat), important restoration works of the ancient castle began and were entrusted to the Sienese architect Francesco di Giorgio Martini.

Thanks to the modernization and the improvement of the military efficiency, the ancient Byzantine fortress took a shape very similar to the current one. In these years, in fact, the excavation of a deep moat began in the area now occupied by the navigable canal, which significantly changed the place, transforming the Old City of Taranto into an actual island.

In the same period, the ancient tower built by Raimondello Orsini del Balzo (in the area of Piazza Fontana) was renovated in order to make Porta Napoli safer.

The part of the city that faces towards the Big Sea is naturally defended by its high positioning. This area, which was formerly occupied by the Greek walls of the polis, was strengthened thanks to a series of consolidation and reorganization works, aimed to improve the military response and ensure a greater defence of the urban center.

In order to face the huge economic expense, it was decided to divide the costs of these works. The Royal Government took charge of the construction of the new castle and the excavation of the moat, while the University paid for the construction of the new walls and the defence towers. Over time, the fortification works proved themselves to to be extremely complex and, for this reason, they took a lot of time. In fact, only one tower (the Sant’Angelo one) was completed, at the expenses of the citizens, in 1484.

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The Aragonese walls is part of the following itineraries

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Piazza Castello, 74123 Taranto TA



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