The Medieval Tower and ancient walls of Domodossola

In 1303, due to continuous invasions from the Valais area, a pentagonal wall was built around the village of Domodossola, along with a castle that overlooked current Piazza Tibaldi. Starting from the castle, the walls ran along the modern-day streets of Canuto, Monte Grappa, Facchinetti, Marconi and Fratelli Di Dio. A deep ditch was dug around the walls, which, due to the inclination of the plane on which the village is built, was not filled with water, though it was an equally effective means of defence.
The village of Domodossola remained impenetrable and was closed off from the outside world between evening and morning prayers: the keys of the gates were kept in the castle and people were required to stay in their homes at night. The walls, although they were not especially thick, were reinforced inside and lined with walkways used for defensive purposes.
In the 19th century, the castle was used as a military garrison, however, both the walls and the fortification were partly demolished to create the Napoleonic Simplon Pass.

So what remains of the original structures? Some small parts of the walls are still visible and in excellent condition. This is also the case for the ancient Medieval Tower of Domodossola at the intersection between Via Facchinetti and Via Monte Grappa. It is an example of a square tower built with blocks of Beola gneiss extracted from the quarries of Mattarella hill, and it has an open portico on the battlements floor, which rests on eight pylons and is covered by a four-pitched roof. Between 2016 and 2017, an outstanding and essential renovation project was carried out by the Domodossola Lions Club with the aim of enhancing the whole building: a charming amphitheatre has been created at the base of the tower, which hosts outdoor shows and events in a truly unique setting.

Ideal for
Everybody
You will discover
Culture, traditions and folklore
History and art
Hidden treasures
Ideal for
Everybody
You will discover
Culture, traditions and folklore
History and art
Hidden treasures
IAT di Domodossola
Piazza Matteotti
28845 Domodossola (VB)
See map

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