San Giuliano Terme, Ripafratta | The Fortress

The Rocca di San Paolino was a medieval historical-architectural complex of strategic military importance as a Pisan outpost in the struggle against Lucca. It is a fortification with irregular polygon formwork and three towers with small square limestone ashlars, the same adopted for the construction of the medieval walls of Pisa.

At the center of the clashes between Pisa and Lucca

In the 15th century was further fortified to withstand the impact of firearms, thanks to the work of the architect Giuliano da Sangallo. Even today you can see the difference between the original part and the following one.

When the town lost importance as a strategic military bulwark, the fortress was unfortunately left to itself. On the access door you can still see the coats of arms of the Pisan and Florentine mayors, while of the old towers remain that of Centino and Niccolai.

Organized guided tours

The Fortress can only be visited with guided tours organized periodically by the Pro Loco Ripafratta “Salviamo La Rocca”.

Parish Church of San Bartolomeo and Madonna di Rupecava

In Ripafratta there is also the parish church of San Bartolomeo, built in the nineteenth century on a pre-existing Romanesque church which has been destroyed by an earthquake. The church houses a wooden statue of the Madonna of Rupecava, (venerated by the local population) a fourteenth-century work by Andrea Pisano and coming from the hermitage of the same name on Monte Pisano where the faithful gather every year on 8 September to celebrate the feast of the Madonna.

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