The first phase of Verona’s wall construction began in the Roman era, an age when the city’s plan was defined, with streets laid out in a typically Roman grid and the construction of strong walls.
The city thus comes to life In a bend of the Adige River and under the hill of San Pietro, there where already for centuries people could cross the river and remain protected on top of the surrounding heights.
The Roman walls of the first century B.C.
which simply enclosed the bend of the Adige River south of the hills, thus began to define the city in its expansion and size, in
parallel to the existence of the river.
Due to the pressure of raids by Germanic peoples it was necessary to enter a second phase of construction, By quickly building a new curtain wall, higher, expanding the layout to include the Arena, composed of a chaotic layering of materials imposed by time constraints and perhaps also by the limited funds available.
, ruler of the first true Roman-Barbarian kingdom, Verona saw the construction of baths, porticoes and palaces; he renovated the aqueduct and surrounded the city with new walls to make it a worthy capital of his kingdom. The era of Theodoric concluded, Verona was occupied by the Byzantines and then for a long time by the Lombards.
Later, in the period between the 11th and 12th centuries, the so-called novi walls, downstream places Of the now unusable Roman-Barbarian walls.. This new line of defense, perhaps built on a route that was already in Roman times, forms a connecting channel between the east and west sides of the river bend right at the edge of an overflow zone still perceptible today in the city’s unevenness in the vicinity of Castelvecchio.
The use of brick along with stone
, be it river pebble or split stone, demonstrate the existence in the area of refined medieval knowledge and an interest in the works that goes beyond mere function, but rightfully belongs to the architectural sphere.
On the threshold of the advent of the Scaliger seigniory, Verona is characterized by the marked presence of towers and forts
, both of the
public palaces and of the noblest and richest families, but also the bell towers of the numerous churches.
The advent of the Scaligeri opened a new chapter for the city, which, undergoing major urban expansion, needed
a new walled enclosure, such that the city limit was shifted more than 500 meters from the previous one.
In 1325 Verona is
one of the largest fortified systems in Europe.
The walls still extend from the right of the Adige River, near San Zeno, to reach the Tower of the Holy Trinity, near what is now the San Francesco Bridge, while on the left of the river they go to include the entire ridge of the hills northeast of the city, thus drawing that unprecedented profile that still makes it unmistakable.
thus leads to
absorb into a concluded form of a city all the ancient suburban districts
, such as that of San Zeno.
From 1406 to 1409 the Serenissima proceeded with the restoration of the Scaliger walls and the completion of Castel San Felice, a work left unfinished by the Visconti. However, it was not until 1517 that the Venetians, having returned to possession of the city, began a total overhaul of the defense system. Verona became a bulwark city for the Venetian Republic, playing a decisive role for the entire Veneto region.
With the advent of artillery in warfare, the structure of the defense system is modified through The introduction first of circular ramparts, then polygonal, low and mighty, replacing the high medieval crenellated walls of Cangrande and Calzaro.
Michele San Micheli
, an architect from Verona, enriched the city with Walls and Gates, which became a clear example of the relationship between civilian life and military needs.
, in part still present in their original state despite Napoleonic demolitions, and especially the Porte,
mark not only a progress in the history of architecture in relation to the continuous dialogue with the ancient
But also, for the city,
a real new urban planning configuration
At the opening of the new century, after the Peace of Luneville in 1801, both the Austrian sector of Verona, to the left of the Adige River, and the French sector, to the right, were affected by hypotheses of urban reorganization; it was in this context that one of the leading figures of the Veronese architectural scene came to light: the celebrated Veronese architect Bartolomeo Giuliari.
He will play a prominent role in safeguarding the city’s historical heritage as well as proposing project ideas. It was he, for example, who in 1801 took over Sanmicheli’s 16th-century city wall to the right of the Adige River, which the French administration had already decreed to be dismantled.
fter the Congress of Vienna in 1814, the city, is again under Austrian rule,
but it is tried and i
mpoverished by the raids of Napoleon’s troops.
In 1833 the Austrian Empire decreed the restoration of Verona’s fortifications, assigning the task to German engineer
Franz von Scholl
. The Venetian wall was not demolished but preserved, strengthened and supplemented with new elements. Low walls “à la Carnot,” typical defensive walls consisting of solid, thick walls, were built at the foot of the embankments that remained after the demolition of the Venetian ramparts ordered by the French, while
the line of artillery defense was shifted and c
ostituted by rings of fortresses at regular distances.