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Fortress and town of Montalcino
Photo © Shutterstock / Don Mammoser
Photo © Shutterstock / Don Mammoser

Fortress of Montalcino

Historical Buildings

An important example of military architecture in the form of a pentagon

The Fortress of Montalcino was built beginning in 1361 by the people of Siena, partly reusing the pre-existing 13th-century city walls. Its structure, in the form of a pentagon, was a novelty at the time compared to the standard square structure.

Erected atop Montalcino, a number of earlier buildings were incorporated into the fortress, such as the tower of San Giovanni, the keep of San Martino and an ancient three-aisled basilica. The latter underwent a number of changes that reduced the naves to one, to serve as the castle chapel. The walls and towers, complete with an external projecting patrol walkway, are still fully accessible today.

Around the middle of the 16th century, the fortress became the last bastion of the Republic of Siena’s resistance against the Medici family’s conquest. The mighty outer rampart, which dates back precisely to this period, covers the south side and was built by Cosimo I de' Medici following the surrender of Montalcino in 1559. However, its construction, carried out in order to reinforce the rest of the castle, did not change the appearance of the other parts of the fortress.

The structure has remained, to this day, virtually intact, with major restoration works performed in the 1930s. Visitors can access from the inner courtyard to the stands and towers, from where you can enjoy a splendid view.

The Fortress of Montalcino
The Fortress of Montalcino - Credit: Type17 at English Wikipedia

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