San Gimignano, Tuscany’s medieval Manhattan

Tuesday, 11 August 2015 - 01:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Museums, Exhibitions, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  4 minutes

© Vignaccia76/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Vignaccia76/cc-by-sa-3.0

San Gimignano is a small walled medieval hill town in the province of Siena, Tuscany, north-central Italy. Known as the Town of Fine Towers, San Gimignano is famous for its medieval architecture, unique in the preservation of about a dozen of its tower houses, which, with its hilltop setting and encircling walls form “an unforgettable skyline”. Within the walls, the well-preserved buildings include notable examples of both Romanesque and Gothic architecture, with outstanding examples of secular buildings as well as churches. The Palazzo Comunale, the Collegiate Church and Church of Sant’ Agostino contain frescos, including cycles dating from the 14th and 15th centuries. The “Historic Centre of San Gimignano”, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town also is known for the white wine, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, produced from the ancient variety of Vernaccia grape which is grown on the sandstone hillsides of the area.

The city is on the ridge of a hill with its main axis being north/south. It is encircled by three walls and has at its highest point, to the west, the ruins of a fortress dismantled in the 16th century. There are eight entrances into the city, set into the second wall, which dates from the 12th and 13th centuries. The main gates are Porta San Giovanni on the ridge extending south, Porta San Matteo to the north west and Porta S. Jacopo to the north east. The main streets are Via San Matteo and Via San Giovanni, which cross the city from north to south. At the heart of the town are four squares: the Piazza Duomo, on which stands the Collegiate Church; the Piazza della Cisterna, the Piazza Pecori and the Piazza delle Erbe. To the north of the town is another significant square, Piazza Agostino, on which stands the Church of Sant’ Agostino. The locations of the Collegiate Church and Sant’ Agostino’s and their piazzas effectively divide the town into two regions.

View from Torre Grossa © MarkusMark San_Gimignano-View_from_Torre_Grossa-1-MarkusMark San_Gimignano-Via_San_Stefano-MarkusMark Piazza della Cisterna © Mihael Grmek/cc-by-sa-3.0 Piazza della Cisterna © Dlanglois/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Vignaccia76/cc-by-sa-3.0
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Piazza della Cisterna © Mihael Grmek/cc-by-sa-3.0
The town of San Gimignano has many fine examples of Romanesque and Gothic architecture. As well as churches and medieval fortifications, there are notable examples of Romanesque secular and domestic architecture which may be distinguished from each other by their round and pointed arches, respectively. A particular feature which is typical of the region of Siena is that the arches of openings are depressed, with doorways often having a second low arch set beneath a semi-circular or pointed arch. Both Romanesque and Gothic windows sometimes have a bifurcate form, with two openings divided by a stone mullion under a single arch.

Located in the heart of the city, the museum SanGimignano1300 offers a massive reconstruction of the city as it existed 700 years ago. Architects, historians, and a team of artists worked nearly three years to create this spectacular and unprecedented exhibition. This exhibit includes 800 meticulously handcrafted structures, 72 towers, street scenes, and figurines.

Read more on San Gimignano, San Gimignano Tourism, unesco.org – San Gimignano and Wikipedia San Gimignano. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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