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San Michele Tower

Foto profilo Facebook Soprintendenza Speciale Roma

San Michele Tower is located in Ostia, near the mouth of the Tiber and is a watchtower near the coast built in 1559 to a design by Michelangelo Buonarroti to remedy the deviation of the river caused by a disastrous flood in 1557.

Completed after his death by Giovanni Lippi, it was inaugurated in 1568 by Pope Pius V. The fortification represents a typical example of Renaissance military architecture and is part of a defensive plan of the coast carried out under the pontificates of Pius IV and Pius V.

The octagonal building has a height of 18 meters and a perimeter of 96, is spread over three levels, each including eight rooms with a cross vault. It was originally surrounded by a moat with a double drawbridge system.The peculiarity of the building is the terrace, seat of the parade ground, whose massive protruding cornice is supported by brick corbels. The pavement of this terrace is oblique, to allow a better flow of incendiary bullets and has a circular opening with a diameter of eight meters. Despite its grandeur, the tower looks like a building with great balance in its proportions.The structure, subject to various restorations over time, was first used as a customs and defense and sighting post, later as a lighthouse for the Ostia seaplane base until it fell into disuse after the end of the Second World War.

It became part of the artistic properties on behalf of the Archaeological Superintendence of Ostia Antica in 1892, since 1994 it has been handed over to the Superintendency for Environmental and Architectural Heritage of Rome.

Photo credits: Soprintendenza Speciale di Roma

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POINT (12.252502 41.743492)

Temporarily closed for restoration

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Tor San Michele, Via Degli Atlantici, 12
Via Degli Atlantici, 12
41° 44' 36.5712" N, 12° 15' 9.0072" E

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