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South Bastion


South Bastion


The restoration of the junction and the Belvedere with the road coming out of the Roman Gate (Via della Croce), was commissioned by Pope Alexander VII in 1666 and carried out by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. He built a monumental supporting bastion with a cornice decorated with torus moulding made of peperino (a kind of volcanic rock typical of the Roman area). In the process, he incorporated parts of Roman walls dating to the period of Silla (1st century BCE), which had been built using several techniques such as opus incertum, opus quasi reticulatum, opus quadratum and opus caementicium; Moreover, he used the standing substructure of the Capitolium. Parts of those masonries can be seen in Via della Strada Nuova, which too was planned by Bernini around the same years. There you can find the marble plaque dated September 1997 commemorating Alexander VII’s patronage and Bernini’s genius. It reads: “ALEXANDER VII PONTIFEX MAXIMUS/ TO IMPROVE ACCESSIBILITY TO ARICCIA ON SILLA’S WALL/ (81 A.C.) BUILT IN 1666 THIS BASTION/ DESIGNED BY GIAN LORENZO BERNINI/ THE CITY HALL/ ENWALLED THIS MEMORIAL PLAQUE/ IN SEPTEMBER 1997/ DURING THE RESTORATIONS”.
(Bibliography: R. Lefevre, 1981; F. Petrucci, in Ariccia, 1998; id., in Ariccia, 2000; M. Villani, 2002)

Bastione Meridionale © Palazzo Chigi Ariccia

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