The Tower of Manfria, located in the district with the same name, is one of the most characteristic landmarks of the territory of Gela. Robust and slender, it stands out on a rocky hill overlooking the sea.
The Tower of Manfria was part of a formidable coastal defensive system built in the second half of the sixteenth century at the behest of the Sicilian Parliament following repeated attacks on coastal towns by Barbary pirates. Viceroy Marco Antonio Colonna commissioned Florentine architect Camillo Camilliani, who was an expert on the construction of military buildings and familiar with modern siege techniques with firearms.
The choice of the site of the fortifications depended on the possibility of dominating a large sea space and allowing the signalling with fires between the various fortresses and the cities. The Tower of Manfria has a quadrangular plan with two communicating floors.
On the ground floor there were tanks and the storage, on the first floor there was the lookouts’ accommodation. The artillery was placed on the terrace. The lookout staff consisted of three elements: a corporal and two soldiers (the torrari). The access was via a rope ladder, which had to be withdrawn in case of danger.
The Tower of Manfria is linked to the legend of the strong and reckless giant Manfrino, who died in the hope of being able to find his beloved.
|YEAR OF CONSTRUCTION||1549 – 1578|
|CURIOSITY||The Tower of Manfria is linked to the legend of the strong and reckless giant Manfrino, who died in the hope of being able to find his beloved.|
Written by: Giuseppe La Spina