Porta Liviana, known also as Porta di Pontecorvo, is a city gate in Padua, part of the Mura Cinquecentesche (16th Century Walls).
The gate now appears detached from the walls and therefore presents itself as an isolated monument. Originally, the walls were linked to the sides of the gate, where today two semicircular niches can be seen.
The walls, also known as the Mura Veneziane, were built by the Venetian Republic during the first decades of the 16th century, as a project of the captain Bartolomeo d’Alviano. The walls were protected on its west flank by a canal known as the Fossa Bastioni.
The construction of the Porta Liviana was begun immediately after the Siege of Padua from 1509, in the context of the War of the League of Cambrai. It was the first gate to be completed in 1517, and was probably based on a design by the Lugano architect Sebastiano Mariani. The gate was dedicated to Bartolomeo d’Alviano, who died on October 7, 1515.
The gate is actually a cube of 16 meters on each side, with the arches of the passage underlined, on the two opposing facades, by pilasters, entablature and tympanum in Istrian stone. The edges of the building are reinforced by irregular stone ashlars.
The external brick surfaces are divided into three horizontal bands. In the central area, there are two windows on each side, which illuminate the room on the first floor. On the top band, there are two small windows destined for gunners.
Above the top of the external tympanum, between the two windows on the middle floor, there is an architrave supported by three shelves, which once held the Lion of Saint Mark. Now, only the dedication to the prefect Giuliano Gradenigo, captain of Padua in 1517, is still visible.
The first floor, accessible via a narrow spiral staircase, is enclosed by a semicircular barrel vault that holds the roof terrace and is illuminated by eight splayed windows.
HOW TO GET THERE
Porta Liviana is located about 2.1 kilometers from the Padua railway station. The closest bus stop is Sanmicheli 1, located 50 meters away in Via Michele Sanmicheli, on the bus Lines U11, U13, U14, U16, U24, U43 and U88.