Thursday, July 28, 2016

Italy: City Views of Modena from Ghirlandina Bell Tower

And so I climbed the famous Ghirlandina Bell Tower in Modena! That's almost 200 steps!

The Tower of Ghirlandina is the bell tower of the Cathedral of Modena. Admission fee is 3 Euros. Together with the Piazza Grande, the Modena Cathedral and Palazzo Comunale, the whole area has been declared a UNESCO world heritage site since 1997.

Nobody really knew the correct chronological history of this civic tower because its records were destroyed in a tragic fire incident in the 11th century.

Learn more: Ghirlandina Bell Tower History

At the top of the tower is the viewing gallery, this is the Stanza dei Torresani (Room of the tower inhabitants), once used as a watchtower to signal incoming danger. The gallery, however, was a bit of a disappointment because the windows were rather small and they all have thick wrought iron grills fastened on them. It was like being inside a prison cell. They probably installed them for safety precautions but they could have made the grills bigger with wide spaces for the camera lens to wriggle in between. In addition to this, they have placed an indoor window shutter made of glass.

The wrought iron grills and window glass shutters made it quite difficult to take in the view and appreciate the panorama of the city, as well as to take pictures. For some reason, they do not also allow the glass window shutter to be opened. It can be that it could get windy up there, but it can also get very hot and steamy during a good sunny day.

If you just have to look beyond the grill and window shutters, the views of the bell tower were still in my opinion, fantastic. I am glad I went up because I wasn't able to do this in Bologna.

Here are the pictures of Modena from the tower:

The Ghirlandina Bell Tower.

Going up the tower. Not advisable for the unfit.

Looking down on Piazza della Torre on Via Emilia.

It's like a cage. The wrought iron grills on all the windows.

The Palazzo Ducale (Ducal Palace) on Piazza Roma.

The clock tower of the old city hall on Piazza Grande.

The viewing area. All the windows are double protected: external wrought iron grills and indoor glass window shutters.

Piazza Grande and the roof of the Cathedral of Modena.

The old town city hall with the clock tower on Piazza Grande.

Travel Period: May 2016
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