The Gualtieri Tower

The Gualtieri Tower
The Gualtieri Tower
The donjon dates back to the age of restoration of the old city walls that took place during the last decade of the fifteenth century, as a consequence of the war between Ascoli and Fermo.
The structure consists of a stretched hexagonal plan, with a double strut shape, completely in bricks and modestly high (approximately 20m. high). The tower is divided into four levels, all covered in vault system (except a pointed barrel vault between 1st and 2nd floor). The crenellations above the brackets derives from a previous restoration dating back to 1901 and based on a project by architect G.Sacconi. Exactly one hundred years later the Municipality extensively begun the complete restoration of the Tower which today can be visited inside, while a well conceived light play makes it even more suggestive by night. Even the mechanism of the clock has been restored: it dates back to the beginning of the twentieth century and it is one of the very few remaining and actually working. 

Once it was an ancient observation tower, now it is the symbol of the town

The tower is an old observatory dating back to XII-XIII century and its visual and environmental impact is remarkable. In fact it is the landmark and the symbol of the town.

In 1145, the Bishop of Fermo, Liberto, under whose jurisdiction 'San Benedetto upon Albula' conceded to the Gualtieri's a sufficient portion of land to build a castle surrounded by gardens. He authorized also the bulding and maybe the renewal and the reinforcement of the defensive tower of the fortress. He entrusted the care and the property of it to Berardo and Azzo, Gualtieri's sons who were already owners of lands beyond the river Tronto and of a castle in another village of the province, Acquaviva. The observatory tower could supervise a large coastal space that went from the river Tronto up to the border with the village of Cupra Marittima. This was because the sea had receded and in its observation cone there were no other buldings. The tower has an hexagonal lengthened plant in the shape of a ship, it is 20 mt tall and the sides are 5 mt each. Walls are 1,5 mt thick.

The "Tower", by his watch, animated by a mechanism built in 1906, marks every hour of the day, and if is affectionately called by the Sambenedettesi "Lu campanò". After a careful restoration, it was reopened to the public in 2001 and it can be now accessed up to the top where you can admire an enchanting panorama of the city


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