Torre Prendiparte

THE BUILDING

On the basis of the information acquired by inspecting other towers demolished as far as the top of the foundations, it seems that towers were generally built on foundations with full walls, sufficiently deep into the ground, but scarcely protruding over the perimeter of the basis. As revealed by some tests carried out in the 1970s on the foundations of the Asinelli tower, the foundations were made of selenite blocks for 1.5 metres, whereas under this level, as far as a depth of 6 metres, there is very compact concrete based on very hard muddy clay.

The Prendiparte tower was certainly built in the same way, making sure to pack down the soil before starting to build by means of a wooden fence. The materials used on top of that are selenite (chalk) for the blocks at the basis, “Bolognese” bricks for inner and outer walls, pebbles and mortar to fill in the dry-stone walls, wood for the staircases, lofts and outer landings, and sandstone for some details.

The Prendipartes owned a whole block, which included the “old palace”, the “new palace”, the “new house” and another tower; in addition to this, near these edifices the Prendipartes had a “great embattled hospice” with a “great tower” adjacent to it, which is indeed the Coronata tower itself. With a height of approximately 60 metres, the tower has powerful walls which are 2.35 metres thick at the base and get progressively thinner, but still keep the remarkable thickness of 1.35 metres on top. The latter figure seems to suggest that at first the tower was even higher and that it was later lowered or never finished for some reason. Its storage condition appears to be excellent. Along with its “sisters”, this tower is one of the oldest remarkable architectural remains which have survived until now.

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