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Porta Romana and Spanish Walls, Milan

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Open Hours: Mo to Su from 12:00 AM to 12:00 AM
Planned by Ferrante Gonzaga on behalf of the Spanish crown, the second circuit of city walls was begun in 1549 and completed in 1560. With respect to the Medieval walls, the new fortifications enclosed the new districts that had grown up around the radial streets. This basically military structure, one of the most powerful in Europe, consisted of massive curtain walls and fortified towers, while little emphasis was placed on ornamentation. One of the finest parts of the walls is the Porta Romana, designed by Aurelio Trezzi, in which the traditional form of the city gate is given a sober decorative treatment. From the 18th century, the walls began to be converted for uses differing to that of defense, and in the 19th century they were finally demolished to make room for new districts of bourgeois residential architecture.