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Castello e fortificazioni

Cassero and the boundary walls

The ancient ring (XIIth)

After the first citizen settlement formed by Borgo al Cornio and by Borgo al Prato, that then came together to create the city of Prato, it was necessary to build a bondary wall to defend this new village became so important for wool's trade.
The city's wall (started about in 1175 and ended in 1196) was made up by squares blocks of alberese stone and towers and bartisans including eight doors:

  • S. Giovanni Door, situated in front of Via S. Stefano;
  • Tiezi door in Via Garibaldi;
  • Capo di Ponte door in Via Cairoli;
  • Porta Corte in Via S. Jacopo;
  • S. Trinità door in S. Trinita street;
  • Fuia door in Via Del Pellegrino;
  • Gualdimare door in Via Cesare Guasti;
  • Travaglio door in Via S. Michele.

Not far from the major doors, draw bridges over a moat allowed the transit to and from the city. The first boundary wall had quadrangular shape. According to a very common technique in the middle age,at the first the doors were built a long the moats where the drain bridges were put down and then the walls that linked all the doors already built.

The second city wall XIVth

With the expansion of the suburbs outside the second city wall, it was necessary to take steps to new fortifications, building the first wall strectch which extended for all the lenght of the Mercatale. The second wall stretch, ended in 1332, extended to the Gualdimare door.

Probably the construction was procided a part from the two wall ends on Bisenzio (Northern site to Gualdimare door oriental side to Rocca Nuova).
Between 1338-1351 the walls amnong Gualdimare door, S. Trinità door and a rock in the site where it is attested the so called Cassero were built.
After the plague in 1348 the town hall interrupped the building of the last wall stretch that was restarted in 1382 by the explicit order of the Florence Town Hall, to which Prato was subject.

Il Cassero

In origin "Corridore del Cassero" (that'is the castel's corridor) was really wanted by the florentinees after Prato's Town Hall subjection to connect the little fortress built from then at the black of walls with the Castle's oriental door. The high enbattle wall shows a long series of lunette windows alternate with little rectangular windows that give light to the promenade, covered with a barrel vault, realized in the massive wall. Another uncovered communication trench run up along.

The "Eighthes"

The space organization inside of the walls was in Prato done originally from the principal wall's cracks that surrounded the city. The eight doors (S. Giovanni door, Thezi door, Capo di Ponte door, Corte door, S. Trinità door, Fuia door, Gualdimare door and Travaglio door) divided the ground in eight homonymous districts in whichthe city was divided.

This subdivision in "Eighthes" represents in Tuscany urban landscape of these periods an original note. Infact the partition took place generally in thirds (Siena, Volterra, and Pisa) in districts (Flocence from xii century to 1343) or in quarters (Pistoia and Arezzo).However, to make the administrative local life easier the town hall decided to put together the eigths doors two by two.

The "Eighthes" became so "Quarters" they were:

  • S. Giovanni and Travaglio doors (S. Stefano's quarter); the coat of arms was formed by a yellow leon in a red ground:
  • Guadimare and Fuia doors (S. Maria's quarter); the coat of arms was formed by a black bear in a yellow ground;
  • S. Trinita and Corte doors (S. Trinita's quarter); the coat of arms was formed by a red eagle in a white ground;
  • Capo di Ponte and Tiezi doors (S. Marco is quarter); the coat of arms was formed by a green dragon in a red ground.
Ponte di Porta Mercatale
Cassero (camminatoio superiore)
Porta Frascati
Porta Mercatale
Porta Pistoiese
Porta Santa Trinita

Addresses and contacts

Viale Piave
, 1
- 59100
Phone: 0574 26693
Opening time Cassero: from Monday to Sunday is open from 4.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m. on April, March, June, September and October, closed on Tuesday.
Caricamento Google Maps.......attendere

Data ultima revisione dei contenuti della pagina: marted 17 marzo 2020

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