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Rocca bizzantina di Serre Rapolano Terme

CASTLES

Rocca bizzantina di Serre

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Rocca bizzantina di Serre


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The Byzantine fortress is the oldest part of the village of Serre. The base of the fortress stands on a spur of natural rock, artificially worked by Byzantine engineers to become an ellipse 40 by 60 meters of base.


The rock was covered with a wall with a scarp base, in squared and arranged travertine boulders. Via dei Poveri ran under the fortress, the only existing road that directly connected Siena and Arezzo: the strategic position of the fortress, which could block the connection between the two cities, made it much sought after.


The ellipse of the fortress has a spiral shape so as to allow access to the chariots. The internal part of the spiral is still visible today.


At the time of its construction, the fortress was accessible through a single driveway door, located halfway up the access ramp in the town which took its name from it: Il Cancello. The door stands at the point where the rock ellipse touches the castle wall.


On the top of the fortress, leaning against the cladding, stands the Cassero, a habitable building that was the home of the imperial castellans and later of the Cacciaconti. The medieval furnishings and part of the original structure disappeared following the transformation of the building into an embankment used as the garden of the nineteenth-century Gori-Martini palace.

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