Luogo - Museum

Torre civica

Where PIAZZA GARIBALDI, Bassano del Grappa (Vicenza)

The Civic Tower dominates Garibaldi Square with its mass. It was probably built in the middle of the 13th century (from the da Romano family) but the most likely date is 1312 when, during the extension of the second curtain wall, it became a strategic defensive and protection point for the new part of the town that was expanding beyond the walls. The tower really stood out for the height, width and depth of its walls, for the massive truncated pyramid base and for the lack of decoration. In the town documents it first appears when a bell of 500 kilograms is placed at its top.
From this moment the tower was owned by the Municipality which was responsible for the maintenance and the payment of the guardians. The guardians held several duties but the most important one was the vedette from the top of the tower in order to shout riots, disasters or assault threats.

The actual name "Civic Tower" was given when, in 1494, at its base a stone door with the town coat-of-arms painted on it was created. In 1625 a hole was created above the door to give light to the keeper’s house and a wooden stair was built to create a connection with the ground; in 1727 the original steps were partly replaced with stone ones. It is not known the year in which the coat-of-arms of Venice was fresco painted as an honorary title. During the 18th century a clock was added to the tower and during the 19th century the jagged edges were built. The tower certainly stands out if compared to all the other historical buildings in the town centre: for its central position inside the urban layout and because it dominates the entire town with its height (43 meters). After a recent massive restoration it has been reopened to the public. 

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