Porta Napoli (Naples Gate), Lecce
Emperor Charles of Hapsburg had achieved a telling victory over the Turks, and he thought of Lecce as a solid barrier against the East. He ordered a defense for Lecce consisting of walls and a castle to complement the coastal defenses of towers and fortified strong points. In 1539 the military architect Acaya was the man for the job.
The Porta Napoli is a 66-foot-tall gateway. The central arch is flanked by two Corinthian columns supporting an over-size triangular pediment. There are carvings on the pediment of armor, weapons, and the Habsburg/Spanish coat of arms. The Habsburg emblems were a nod to Emperor Charles V, who was on hand when the gate was opened.
At the opposite end of the Arch of Triumph square (Piazzetta Arco di Trionfo) is the Obelisk of the city. Erected in 1922, it is dedicated to Ferdinand I, King of the Two Sicilies. The sides of the Obelisk have bas-reliefs of exotic mythological creatures, including a dolphin taking a bite of the moon.
Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Lecce. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.
Porta Napoli (Naples Gate) on Map
Walking Tours in Lecce, Italy
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles