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‘Torre dei Mori’, The Tower of the Moors

The Port Tower, the Clock Tower, The Tower of the Moors

The so called “Porton del Ponte de le Hore” was the silent guardian of the entrance to Sacile and the witness of the city life from XIV century until 1939.

The eastern gate of the city Torre dei Mori – The Tower of the Moors, was built in the XIV century over the castle gate that ran from the port (today a main square, Piazza del Popolo) to Borgo Ricco, and then towards Friuli, transforming one of the many towers placed along the walls of the city.

What was then called Torre del Porto, the Port Tower, because it was near the landing place for the boats that went up the Livenza, it was described in 1483 by Marin Sanudo as Torre dell’Orologio, the Clock Tower, with two wooden Moors that beat the hours on an ancient bell, cast in 1397, bearing inscriptions, decorations and the coat of arms of Sacile.

Rebuilt in 1582 by decision of the city council, the Tower of the Moors remained intact until 1917, when, with the Austro-Hungarian occupation, the two Moors were removed from the belfry and burned, while the bell was stolen and transported to an unknown foundry to be melted down for the war industry.

In 1927 the city council commissioned a new bell from the De Poli foundry in Vittorio Veneto and another pair of Moors from the sculptor Giuseppe Scalambrin, who made them in wood painted them to look like bronze.
A few years later, on Sunday 18 October 1936, a very strong earthquake seriously damaged the tower. It was then knocked down as far as the lower level of the clock face, pending a final decision on whether to demolish completely or restore it. In the end, however, practical questions concerning the road network for which the narrow passage was a real obstacle, prevailed over the historical value of the building. As a result, it was demolished in early 1939, but only after the two wooden Moors and the material that made up the clock were delivered to the city council.