Wonder  }  Architecture

St. James Gate

A unique door with a great past

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Where is


Via Sant'Alessandro, 73, 24121 Bergamo BG, Italia (0m s.l.m.)


What it is and where it is

A unique white pearl stands out on the ancient Venetian walls that enclose Bergamo's Upper City. Porta San Giovanni is the only gateway in the walls that can also be seen from Città Bassa, from Via Vittorio Emanuele. It is accessed by a stone viaduct that provides splendid views of the walls and the city.

Why it is special

Precisely because of these special features and the beauty of its forms, designed by Buonaiuto Lorini, Porta San Giovanni turns out to be one of the most photographed places in Bergamo. The most striking element is the view from here: an unparalleled view of the walls and the city, as far as the plain of the Apennines.

A bit of history

In the past it featured a wooden drawbridge, which closed the access to the city in case of danger: in fact, it was the only access route to Città Alta for those coming from Milan and was closed every evening at 10 pm for security reasons. This bridge was torn down at the end of the 18th century by order of Alvise Contarini, Venetian governor. In its place was built the road that is still used today to reach the gate.


The very closing of 10 p.m. was preceded by a special rite, which allowed everyone to hurry in case they had to cross the gate: one hundred chimes were struck by the Campanone, after which no one would enter or leave the city until the following morning.

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OTER Orobie Tourism, Experience of Real

"I have here always before my eyes Bergamo, alpine city of Italy." Francesco Petrarch


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