Rocchetta Arrighina

Rocchetta Arrighina

The Rocchetta Arrighina is a 14th century military building in Pietrasanta, next to the arch of Porta a Pisa.

The Rocchetta Arrighina is a 14th century military building in Pietrasanta, next to the arch of Porta a Pisa. History To strengthen the defensive system of Pietrasanta, in 1324 Castruccio Castracani had the Rocca di Sala strengthened and the Rocchetta Arrighina built adjacent to the Porta a Pisa. It was the same leader who intended to give it this name in honor of his son Arrigo. «On the 20th of March 1324, having considered that it was good to fortify and garrison the land of Pietra Santa, very fertile and populated and with a beautiful site near the sea, he went there with practical men, and brought his son Enrico there, who wanted that in the foundations cast the first stone; over which he placed a beautiful sapphire bound in gold, in a cup full of water and wine: and this was under the door, called the Ghibelline, and in the postern; placing in each of the said places a gold florin (also in cups full of water and wine) which was one of those that he had beaten: and he had said Rocca called the Arrighina for the name of his son" (A.Manucci, The actions of Castruccio Castracani degli Antelminelli Lord of Lucca and with the genealogy of the family, p. 78) According to the Narrative of Pietrasanta, the fortress was instead begun by Arrigo Castracani degli Antelminelli, son of Castruccio Castracani: «Arrigo Antelminelli founded the Rocha Arrighina and the Rocha Ghibellina, and note that he was Arrigo, son of Castruccio» (Fiction of Pietrasanta, 1536) To confirm this, there are two plaques above the tuff door of the fortress which show the Castracani coat of arms and the Imperial Eagle. The work on the fortresses was completed by 1329. The small structure was equipped with a double drawbridge (outside over a moat full of water and inside towards the square). With it, the defensive plan of the city took the shape of a triangle with the ancient Lombard settlement on the hill at its apex. In 1395 the Rocchetta was reinforced by a masonry and a ravelin and subsequently, in 1456, it was equipped with bells. La Rocchetta was destroyed during the Florentine siege of 1484, but shortly afterwards it was rebuilt by Francesco di Giovanni di Francesco known as il Francione and by Francesco d'Agnolo known as La Ciecca. In the mid-18th century the Rocchetta was dismantled of its military equipment. In the 19th century it underwent major renovations with the construction of adjacent buildings and the opening of new windows on the ground floor. Today the Rocchetta is private property.

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