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The town hall of the province of Lucca
 
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Viareggio
 
 
 
 
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The Darsena of Viareggio The ancient tower of Viareggio
The territory where Viareggio now rises, before Thousand it was swampy zone covered from a great wood populated by numerous animal kinds, wild boars, fallow deer, pheasants etc... exclusively used by the noble Longobards as reserve of hunting, known as her "Regal Forest" or "Palatine" (private forest of the men of building "Palatium"), with the ascent to emperor Enrico III's throne you was divided in two parts, a half was given by the emperor to the church of S.Nicola in Migliarino and the other half it was granted in feud to the noble pisani Orlandi and Pellari, some years later in 1171 the lucchesis purchased from" Truffa of Orlandino Mezzolombardo", a part of these earths with the intent to build you a fortification, counting on the help of the Genovesi. 
Despite this inclusive earth between the castle of Montramito and the sea, it was inhospitable, deprived of roads and poorly inhabited for the malaria, the lucchesi succeeded in already mending an old existing tower, called "Castel of the Wood"The Darsena of Viareggio (entirely of wood), destroyed by the pisami during a raid in Versilia (Lucca and Pisa fought for the possession of Motrone)
This new fortification "Castrum de By Regal" that it also declared the official birth of Viareggio, January 2 nd 1172 was completed by the expert in fortifications the Genoese Raymond, the fortitude formed from a tall circular tower around 80 braccia, protected and surrounded by two circular boundaries, call "Barbacane",she was built violating a norm "Privilege" sent forth by Federico Barbarossa for the Pisani, thanks to the mediation of the archbishop of Magonza (the emperor's notary), the pisani intenzionati to exclude Lucca from the sea, ache they digested this new attempt lucchese to make sure themselves a result to the sea and August 6 th 1172 they assaulted the castle, the battle was bloody the lucchesi they fought up to the night, then some important religious succeeded in arranging a truce, but the pisani didn't lose him mind and June 16 th 1181 after six years of controversies among Lucca, Pisa, Genoa and Florence they got from the emperor Federico Barbarossa the castle of Viareggio, so Lucca that in the meantime she had also lost Motrone, for its commerces it was forced to use the harbors pisani.
To the first ones of the XIII century the lucchesis decidedly penetrated in Versilia, forcing the various feudal Lords (said also Cattanei of Versilia), to swear them fidelity and the most greater castles of the Versilia one to the time you conquered by the lucchesis, more powerful and rich Lucca after having conquered the inside aimed toward the coast, but here they didn't use the weapons, the 21 April of 1221 the lucchese Pagano Balduini thanks to the moneys, it got from the emperor the castle of Viareggio and its earths, for about fifty years the surname of the Balduini held in feud Viareggio, then after the death of Fred
II and the military consignment lucchese in Versilia of the podest Prendilaparte, against the last rebellious castles, in the 1286 Lucca it purchased the castle of Viareggio, subsequently provident Castruccio Castracane to strengthen the defenses of the seaport of Viareggio and it began some works of reclamation for the life to make less unhealthy in that marshy earth.
In the 1430 lost Lucca again the I bring of Motrone, Viareggio remained the only seaport, this forced Lucca to take back the work of initiated reclamation some
The ancient tower of Viareggioyears from Castruccio before, initially the effected interventions brought few benefits, but the Republic continued in its politics of reclamation and repopulation of Viareggio, offering three blanket of earth to whoever decided to live in her "swamp viareggina", in 1466 to the engineer Lionello he was asked to modify and to widen the small seaport, but despite these interventions for veder to take off the development of Viareggio needs to reach the third decade of the XVI century.
The government of Lucca June 5 th 1534 ordered the construction of a new nearer tower to the sea and the maritime equipments, around this new tower (that that we can admire today) mainly built with the material withdrawn from the old castle, next to the new tower the first urban center of Viareggio was born, that September 11 th 1541 saw to disembark in its seaport the emperor Charles V, first important tourist of Viareggio, direct to Lucca to meet Pope Paolo III and since then the suburb continually grew, in 1548 in the city versiliese was built the house of the Commissioner and the first church, entitled to S.Pietro that subsequently you/he/she will be devoted to the SS.Annunziata.
Later Charles V, the city of Viareggio welcomed with great celebrations other two important characters, in 1549 the Duke was entertained Cosimo I and the day March 20 th 1592, the Granduca Ferdinando The of the Medici.
In 1576 the Republic decided to strengthen and to reconstruct the seaport, of the jobs of construction a Genoese engineer was entrusted, that made to dig the Darsena in 1606, these new interventions of improvement of the swamp were not satisfactory, the population decimated by the malarial fevers, didn't succeed in increasing, but Lucca persevering in its intent, in 1617 it founded the Vicaria of Viareggio, headquartered in the new suburb.
After centuries of bankrupt attempts, in 1740 the bresciano Bernardino Zemdrini built some new cataracts in the channel Burlamacca and able to separate the sweet water from that salty, almost succeeding in defeating the malaria and the population of the suburb it increased notably, subsequently thanks also to the concessions of the beaches from the government of Lucca, you also releases from the Duchess Maria Luisa of Borbone, the noble families of Lucca, chose that earth to build their villas to the sea and Viareggio it began to become all over the world the today's famous bathing city.
On to end of the XVIII century with the arrival of French in Tuscany, to Viareggio some rebels commanded by Sebastiano Motrone succeeded in sending away the French soldiers from the tower and to free the country, but quickly the French army intervened, the general Nadal, suppressed the revolt arresting 12 rebels, two of which Luigi Sodini (of Viareggio) and In the Loveri (of Stiava), they were immediately shot.
 
Photo Viareggio  (The photos of the Darsena of Viareggio are a kind concession of Stefano Garfagnoli 2008)
 
The Tower of Viareggio  n1 - n2 - n3 - n4 - n5 - n6

 

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