We have already seen a glimpse of this fortress in my post “Window on the Harbor”. Here you can really get three fortresses for the price of one, which is nothing because the entrance is free of charge.
The first one, built between 11th and 12th Centuries, is the round, 30 meters high, plastered tower called “Mastio di Matilde” (Matilda's Keep). Although no proven historical link exists with Matilda of Tuscany, the name of the Countess “has stuck”. The photo of “Bell Tower & Chimneys” was taken from the top of this donjon. The second one is the “Quadratura dei Pisani” (Square fort of the Pisans) built in 14th Century and then enclosed in the huge “Fortezza Vecchia” (Old Fortress) itself, completed in the first years of the 16th Century.This red brick fortress has three large bastions: the “Canaviglia” is the one with the residence of the Grand Duke overlooking the port. You can see it on the left in the second photo, the bastion on the foreground is called “Ampolletta”.
The last bastion, heavily damaged during the last war, is known as “Capitana” and is the only part closed to the public, for obvious safety reasons. Various events take place inside the “Quadratura” during the summer and a restaurant is open year round.
See also: Piazza dei Grani - Scalo Regio - Porta del Duca - Cortile d'Arme - Capitana - Ampolletta - Molo del Soccorso - Canaviglia - Palazzo di Francesco - Mastio di Matilde - From the Top
Search labels: Fortezza Vecchia