The impressive botanical gardens around the world (P.48) - Extraordinary rooftop garden of Guinigi Tower (Italy)


( Built of red brick and topped by several ancient Holm oaks, the 125-foot high Guinigi tower house is one of the few remaining tower houses in Lucca. It was built in or around 1384 by wealthy silk merchants, and, although no one knows exactly how old the rooftop garden is, it dates back to at least 1600 when it appears in a contemporary drawing of the city.

As in nearby Pisa, Sienna, and Florence, the wealthy landowners began building a tower onto their palace home, both as an overt manifestation of their wealth and power, but also as a defensive position and lookout when things got rough. In battles, destruction of the towers - often specifically targeted properties of certain families - was common, and a blow to the pride of the victimized town thereafter.

Restored and reopened in the 1980s, today the tower’s rooftop garden is accessible via a climb of 230 stairs (a modern addition - the original stairs were on the outside). From the rooftop you can see the outlines of the three concentric city walls, the Roman center of town, and the few remaining other towers. Across town, the Torre della Ore (clock tower) is also open for climbing.

According to

Mihan (Collect and edit) (World Records Union -


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