Lecco: fortified village with its castle and town walls. From the Visconti family rule to the Spanish domination it was a strategic fort.
In the seventeenth century Lecco was a fortified village with a castle on the shore of the lake Como. The village had a triangular shaped town walls, a very respectable defensive system built during Visconti family domination in fourteenth century and upgraded by Spanish in the second half of the sixteenth century, strengthening the three entrances to the village, building the stands beyond the moat and the big round bastion, as embrasure location, that nowadays is the basis of the bell tower of the Basilica of St. Nicholas (Basilica of San Nicolò).
This is the picture of Lecco Alessandro Manzoni chose to set The Betrothed.
Unfortunately during last centuries and under Austrian domination the fortified village was destroyed and just few remains are still visible: the castle’s tower in Piazza XX Settembre, known as Torre Viscontea, part of the town walls near Via Bovara, called vallo delle mura, behind which the palace of the Spanish Governors peeps, now seat of Lecco’s Public Library, and the big round bastion of the bell tower as above mentioned.
Cover image: illustration darft for the edition of The Betrothed dated 1840 Library Braidense
At the period of our story, this village was also fortified, and consequently had the honour to furnish quarters to a governor, and the advantage of possessing a permanent garrison of Spanish soldiers, who gave lessons in modesty to the wives and daughters of the neighbourhood.
Castello di Lecco – Torre Viscontea Piazza XX Settembre – 23900 Lecco