Castel San Pietro ❤️ a splendid balcony over Verona
- Category What see Lake Garda und Verona
The hill of San Pietro is a suggestive hill that rises for a few hundred meters behind the Roman Theater. Its top, in an easily defensible position and close to the water of the Adige, has been inhabited since the dawn of time. It houses a nineteenth-century military barracks, built by the Austrians.
In this place traces of a settlement dating back to the Iron Age have been found; here in Roman times a temple and a fort were built to defend the Ponte Marmoreus (Ponte Pietra); in the Middle Ages a castrum and the church of San Pietro; at the end of the fourteenth century an imposing manor, built by the Visconti and reinforced during the Venetian domination. The Visconti castle continued to dominate the hill until March 1801, when the Napoleonic troops strategically blew it up before handing over the city to the Austrians. These, on the remains of the ancient fortress, between 1852 and 1856 built the military barracks that we can still admire today. The construction involved leveling the ground that transformed the top of the hill into a regular platform overlooking the city, on which the rectilinear geometries typical of Austrian imperial architecture rest. However, it was wisely built in such a way as to integrate with the surrounding environment, using what were the typical materials of Veronese architecture and its traditions: stone masonry and brick facings for the vertical structures; brick for the vaults; stone and tuff for the ornamental elements.
The building looks like a tripartite linear body that deliberately recalls the shapes of medieval fortresses: in the mighty central part that rises on three or four floors to follow the slope of the hill; in the wings that protrude towards the city and rise like defensive towers; in the windows with exposed brick facings and polychrome arch rings that refer to the Romanesque style; on the terrace with barely hinted white battlements, which allowed the heart of the city of Verona to be admired and kept under control. he interior was spartan and designed to accommodate nearly five hundred soldiers: large common dormitories covered by low-arched vaults; elegant quarters for officers and functional command offices; laboratories for the maintenance of equipment and large deposits, including underground. Accessible only externally, the former barracks are however very popular with Veronese and tourists, who reach the southern square to enjoy an enchanting view of the city ... by car or through a suggestive staircase that starts next to the entrance to the Roman theater. In a corner of the belvedere there is the funicular station, built in the early twentieth century to transport visitors from the theater to the castle. It remained inactive for many decades and was reopened to the public in June 2017. The ski lift operates every day from 11.00 to 21.00, with a return fare of two euros for adults and one euro for those over 65 and children under the age of 10. The castle building, recently acquired by a banking foundation, is being renovated to be used as a museum and exhibition site.
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