Hello everybody from Hotel Borgo Grondaie !! Our virtual journey into the history of the beautiful Siena continues with Mangia Tower.
Mangia Tower is and was a symbol, a sign that the travelers could see from afar, as a kind of flag for a city proud to show off its power.
As mentioned in the previous post about the Public Palace, the construction of the tower began in 1325 and ended in 1348. It was built as a reference of power residing in the Palace and a symbol of the city.
The tower of the Palace of government soared well above the other towers built to guard homes of the noble families of Siena. Unfortunately, after the fall of the Republic of Siena in 1555, the Spanish-Florentine pulled all those smaller towers down around the Public Palace leaving Mangia Tower as the unique protagonist.
The top of the tower, 87 meters high until the last merlons and 102 to the tip of the lightning rod, offers a magnificent view over the whole city and the surrounding hills.
The Tower is all made of fired brick up the battlement made of white travertine.
The Torre del Mangia owes its name to a certain Giovanni di Duccio, who, in charge of tolling the hours on the Tower since 1347, was nicknamed Mangiaguadagni or Mangia because of its willingness to spend money (“mangia” from the Italian verb “mangiare “= to eat and the substantive “guadagni”= earnings).
When in 1360, a watch was placed in the tower, hours were tolled by a woody robot later replaced by a new one made of stone which was nicknamed “The Mangia” in memory of Giovanni Di Duccio. In 1780 the hours were marked by a simple hammer while the remains of the automaton are still preserved in the Cortile del Podestà (Public Building).
The first bell of the tower, built on 1348, was replaced by another in 1634, but it was imperfect and in 1666 a third bell was built called “Sunto” dedicated to Our Lady Maria Assunta (Assumed into heaven).
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