Chain Tower at Padua

Padua

Chain Tower at Padua

The Chain Tower (or Tower of Refuge), is an interesting nucleus surviving from the city walls of the Carraresi era. An adjacent part of the defensive complex has also survived, inside a private property: a bulwark, which sheltered the sorties of the cavalry. The bulwark was formed of two high parallel walls, which may have begun from the Citadel (at present-day Piazzetta Delia), and arrived at the feet of the Chain Tower. This housed a chain, lowered to block the passage of boats. The wall that is closer to the river is 40 metres in length, now reduced to a height of a just over a metre. The other wall runs for 20 metres, at a height of six metres, and has two passage arches inserted in the 1930s. The walled walkway for the guards’ rounds is accessible from the first floor of the Torre del Soccorso. The primitive plan of this building suggests that it may date to the 1200s: it also took the name “Devil’s Tower”, because of its many years in precarious condition. Although it retains all its original fascination, in recent years it has received a very precise restoration. Examination of maps of the area, particularly the Map of the Old Walls, by Vincenzo Dotto (1632), leads to the hypothesis that there was also a raised passageway from the Torre del Soccorso to the Saracen Gate on the other side of the river.

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