venerdì 11 ottobre 2013

Medieval Villages in Tuscany - Montaione

Medieval Villages in Tuscany - Montaione

The walled land of Montaione is placed in the Diocese of Volterra on one of the hills serving as ridge between thevalleys of the Egola and theElsa, on the borderline of the ecclesiastic jurisdiction of Lucca, existing until 1622 on the territory of the near San Miniato.
In the Middle Ageges the castling phenomenon involved this territory too, and among the numerous fortifications that rose here the Castrum of Montaione achived a pre-eminence role starting from the end of the XIII century when it has already become a commune, but depending from the jurisdiction of San Miniato.

In 1268 the people from Montaione, who hardly suffered such obbligation, offered their castle to San Gimignano; from this, started a controversy that to be settled had to be intervene the Republic of Florence who however sentenced that the castle had to return under San Miniato. Montaione was freed from the domination of San Miniato only in 1369 when, taking advantage of he florentine victory on San Miniato, made an act of devotion to the first one, joining the Florentine country land in April 1370 and becoming seat of the Podestà.
As an outpost of the Floretine Republic both towards the territory of Lucca and Pisa, Montaione performed an important role during the recurrent wars between these rivals. The nucleus of Montaione was particularly provided with fortifications, with a circle of walls in which stood several defensive towers and in which opened two main doors, Porta Fiorentina and Porta Guelfa (both lost), and a postern of which only a few traces remain.

In spite of the serious damages undergone during the last World War, when the towers characterising the circle of walls and most part of it were distructed, the centre of Montaione still preserves a few traces that give an idea of its ancient peculiarities.
The most ancient nucleus developes along three parallel axes, united by a central square overlooked by the parish church os San Bartolomeo, suffragan of the nearby parish church of San Regolo , remembered since the XII century, but rearranged in its structures during the XVII century and restaured in the XIX century.
Not far stands the Palazzo del Podestà, whose facade still preserves many noble coat of arms, housing the Communal Museum rich in prehistoric finds.

(Source: Bruno Bruchi e Alessandro Naldi, Medieval Villages in Tuscany.)

See also: http://www.comune.montaione.fi.it/
http://www.turismo.intoscana.it/site/en/town/Montaione/


Photo by Comune di Montaione

Photo by Comune di Montaione


Photo by Comune di Montaione

Photo by Comune di Montaione

Photo by Comune di Montaione




 

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