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Heroically Preserving Porta All' Arco, Volterra Tu

Posted by
Fran (Trumbull CT, United States) on 24 October 2014 in Architecture and Portfolio.

This is an Etruscan portal in the medieval city of Volterra, Tuscany, called the Porta all' Arco or Arch Gate. It is the best preserved Etruscan gateway in Italy and dates from the 4th century BC. During World War II, the German commander wanted to destroy the portal to delay the advancing American army. The people of Volterra offered to block it up instead. The German commander ordered them to complete the work within a very short time and to a specified thickness. It seemed an impossible task but the townspeople all joined forces to complete the job thus saving the historic portal for posterity. There is a monument to their efforts just outside the portal on the city walls.