Piazza del Campo

The Piazza del Campo is the most important place in the Tuscan city of Siena, the center of which it forms.

The place is famous for its architecture, and its semi-circular shape, as well as by the discharged here every year horse race Palio di Siena.


The center of the significant already in the Etruscan town was originally in the area of ​​today's Castelvecchio, while " Campo " was merely a piece of land that served the drainage of rainwater. But as was also the leading past Siena highway through this field and crossed here with another street, soon developed a marketplace at this point.

The name " Campo " is first mentioned in writing in 1169 a source that deals with the entire valley, which also includes the present-day Piazza del Mercato, today on the other side of the Palazzo Comunale, belonged. At that time the city of Siena acquired the terrain that ranges from Piazza del Mercato della Mercanzia Sign up to the present. A subdivision of the site into today's two places mentioned in 1193, so one can assume that in the meantime at least one wall was built that divided the space into two halves; Possibly this was done in order to derive the water better.

By the year 1270, when the rule of the Twenty-Four ( 1236-1270 ) came to an end, then the place for fairs and markets was used. Although the court had not its present appearance, but he has gradually become the second center of the city next to the cathedral; while there religious festivals were at the center, dominated in the Piazza del Campo of trade and secular celebrations. Since the municipal authorities increasingly independent from the bishop (and later Archbishop ) made ​​, came in the reign of the Nine ( 1289-1355 ), the need to according to its own town hall.

The Piazza del Campo is one of the most impressive municipal courses in Italy - in contrast to the Piazza San Marco in Venice and Piazza dei Miracoli Pisa this is a place without a church, that is a purely political center - and this is also reflected in the art in the interiors of the town hall. The terrain is slightly sloping and the Palazzo Pubblico, the public palace, that the Town Hall is at the lowest point. This strikingly low-lying position, in contrast to the practices of other cities is explained by the need to choose a neutral position between the hills of Siena. Here, too, the rivalry within the city has had consequences. The result was that the tower had to be very high, so that he could extend beyond the city despite its low position.

With the construction of the Palazzo Comunale then also the impetus for an architectural layout of the course were given. The place in the years 1327-1349 was a tiling, where even today the division into nine segments to the former rule of the nine recalls. The "Skyline " of the place, however, is not spontaneously formed in one piece. It was not until the years provided the city council by appropriate legislation to ensure that the façade design was handled uniformly. For example, a Peter and Paul church was demolished; today remember the streets Vicoli di San Pietro di San Paolo to it.

Fonte Gaia

On the higher side of the Fonte Gaia Campo stands, Jacopo della Quercia has created the 1409-1419. , Fountain of joy ' he is, because it was in 1342 succeeded for the first time to make use of a 25 km pipeline to flow water to the city. The perpetual water shortage was in the mountain town of Siena a big problem - especially in the summer months. Stylistically della Quercia has in the figures of this well something similar as you can the Sienese painting, namely a balance between the classical tradition and gothic curves.

The figures of the fountain are indeed since 1858 replaced by replicas of Tito Sarrocchi, but we have here an important document for the development of early Renaissance sculpture in front of us. At that time, in 1409, they had begun increasingly to the ancient past to be interested and of course particularly the history of Rome. Jacopo della Quercia had been commissioned by the city of Siena, therefore, to document in this fountain the alleged Roman origin of the city as the founding of the sons of Remus and their actions based thereon virtues. The original parts of the fountain are viewing the Museum of Santa Maria della Scala in space Fienilezu today.


Palazzo Comunale ( Palazzo Pubblico )

With the construction of the building of the city administration was started in 1297. Originally the palace had only three floors; later made ​​further additions. But above all, came during the 14th century, the Torre del Mangia added the 102 -meter-high tower, which dominates the town of Siena. The name derives from the nickname Mangiaguadagni (profit -eater ) of the first bell-ringer.

Cappella di Piazza

A small chapel, the Cappella di Piazza, the court chapel built over 100 years later ( in 1463 ) with a Renaissance decoration its present form - At the entrance to the Palazzo Pubblico was in thanks for surviving as plague in 1352 - so still in the Gothic obtained. Both, however, fit together so well, as it had been created at the same time. The roof construction is by Antonio Federighi and was built in the 1460s. The northern European Gothic was taken in Italy in the 13th and especially the 14th century in the Italian tradition of heavily modified and customized form. And later, in the 15th century to build the Renaissance centuries- long preparatory phases. Both contradicted himself here in Italy not like in France or Germany. Here at this chapel in the Gothic style is so loose the old arched been used and not the actually typical Gothic pointed arch. And again during the Renaissance was the arch to the standard needed to be changed here also nothing.

The horse racing

A horse race ( "Il Palio " ) is on the pitch twice a year, on July 2 and August 16, discharged.