Via Francigena

last modified Dec 09, 2013 10:03

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Cartello della Via Francigena

"When the archbishop Sigerico was there between 990 and 994, San Gimignano (Sancte Gemiane , as he remembered) was a castle of the Church of Volterra . Via Francigena was certainly the reason of the rapid development that led the town to run its own territorial district - more or less the same as the current municipality - in balance between Florence and Siena. The walls of San Gimignano built at the beginning of the thirteenth century was already substantial, but the strong mercantile expansion and population growth that accompanied it made rapidly increase the town, so that, in the second half of the same century, a new round of walls was needed. This included not only the Tower of Montestaffoli, but also the populous villages of San Giovanni and San Matteo, which were established right on the head of the via Francigena. With the construction of the City Hall (1288) it was established also the urban center that remains today as one of the most significant expressions of the Middle Ages, although it was not recognized as a Town not having the necessary recognition of the episcopal location.
However, the economy of San Gimignano could not resist the international crisis. (...) . San Gimignano never recovered from the economic and demographic collapse, and the stagnation of the following centuries fixed its medieval image in time, building the fame and fortune of our time. (...) .

On this road that crosses the entire village of San Gimignano, between the two existing doors that took their name from the hamlets, as well as in the squares of the Duomo (Collegiate and public buildings) and the Cistern which divide it into two parts, overlook the most important religious and civic buildings, which reflect structural and decorative characters derived from the architectural culture of the major Tuscan cities. Also the excellent artworks that adorn the churches of Sant'Agostino and the Collegiata and the City Hall came from Florence and Siena, as well as the ones in the Civic Museum. The peculiar characteristic of San Gimignano are the Towers of the XI-XII century, built by the emerging families that have kept their original height. (...)"

Free translation from "Via Francigena guida al percorso da Castefiorentino alle porte di Siena" by A. Angeloni, Betti Editrice, created by Progetto Integrato e Territoriale di Valorizzazione della Via Francigena in Valdelsa funded by Comuni di Monteriggioni and co-financed by Regione Toscana under the law L135/01 art. 5 c. 5 in the context of the interregional project "VIA FRANCIGENA - a new tourist Italian offer"

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