The tower was built in 1174, at the behest of the Bissari family, next to their palace. Between 1211 and 1229, the Municipality of Vicenza bought both the palace and the tower.
After it was spared by the terrible earthquake of January 25, 1348, it was raised towards the middle of the 15th century to its current height. Over the centuries, there were numerous interventions to maintain the stability and beauty of the tower.
On March 18, 1945, the tower, together with the Palladian Basilica, was hit by an Anglo-American bombing. The top of the tower caught fire and the dome collapsed to the ground. The bells also fell, destroying the pavement of the square.
In the following years, along with the Basilica, the tower was rebuilt, not without controversy concerning the form, partly different from the original one.
In 2002, a radical restoration of the tower began. The intervention concerned the consolidation of the tower and the restoration of surfaces, friezes and decorations.
At the base of the tower is a war memorial, surmounted by a coat of arms and the sculptured group of the crowned Madonna, enthroned, with the Child and two saints. A little higher is the marble bas-relief of the Lion of Saint Mark.
On the sides, there are memorial plaques and, in a niche, there is a headless statue of Pallas Athena, perhaps from the Roman era.
HOW TO GET THERE
The Bissara Tower is located about 1 kilometer away from the Vicenza railway station. The closest bus stop is in Piazzetta Largo Neri Pozza, about 140 meters away, on the bus Line 10.
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