The south gate of the old town
The Land Gate was build in 1543 in the southern defensive walls, approximately ten metres from Grimani bastion. The so-called Porta Terraferma (the Land Gate), by the Venetian architect Michele Sanmicheli, is considered a masterpiece of the Renaissance architecture and sculpture. The Land Gate corresponds to the ancient triumphal arch with three passageways, the grand arched one in the middle and two smaller, ones on each side. The equestrian relief depicting Saint Chrysogonus, the city's patron saint, is in the keystone above the grand archway. Above it there is a skilfully carved winged lion symbolizing Saint Mark the Evangelist i.e. the Republic of Venice. On the left is the Rector's coat of arms and on the right is the Captain's coat of arms. Appropriate plaques with inscriptions above the small passageways contain information about its construction time.
Surrounding the entire fortification system there was a moat filled with water and a wooden drawbridge allowed the access into the city.
The design of the grand Forte fortress of a tenaille type, built in accordance with the newest military technology between 1566 and 1569, is credited to the Venetian condottiere Sforza Palavicino. Because of its construction, occupying the entire width of the peninsula, the suburban settlement Varoš had to be destroyed. Along the eastern walls of the Forte fortress a water-filled moat was excavated in the 17th century and a new fortress, the so-called Mezzaluna (half-moon shape), was built. Its construction led to the devastation of the Roman amphitheatre remains.
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