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The Torrazzo is Europe’s highest medieval bell tower in brick: 112.54 meters high, it is sports a double-barrel construction consisting of two towers, one inserted in the other; a staircase of 502 steps runs in the cavity. Externally the tower is divided into two parts that allow one to read the stylistic episodes: the lower part, with a square base, on whose construction period there is no reliable data, is marked by a series of planes marked by frames decorated with intertwined blind arches, on which rest the openings of made up of monofora, bifora, and quadrifora leading to the terminal loggia; the upper part consists of the garland, built between 1284 and 1305 in Gothic style, created by the superposition of two octagonal drums, scaled and marked by round arches and by the conical cusp.

The astronomical clock, a true mechanical masterpiece, was begun in 1582, the year of the Gregorian reform of the calendar, by Giovanni Francesco and Giovanni Battista Divizioli, while the decoration of the clock face was entrusted to the painters Giovanni Battista Dordoni and Martire Pesenti. A series of repaintings followed through the course of the centuries, up to the most recent necessary restorations (1974), for the mechanical part Vincenzo and Pietro Ferraroni; for the astronomical calculation Achille Leani; and for the decorative part – the zodiac band – Mario Busini. The documents also nominate Janello Torriani (1550-1585), a famous Cremonese mathematician and inventor, as curator of the clock. He was a builder himself of several automatic and mechanic watches for the Emperor and King of Spain Charles V.

The torrazzo hosts a concert of 7 bells, the smallest weighing 465 kg and the largest 3,270 kg. They are intoned in the key of A-flat major and an eighth bell called the bell of the hours is visible on the terrace at the summit, it was called the beating “D” and bears the date 1581. Each of the bells was assigned a saint connected to a note:

  • St. Barbara Eurasia – A-flat
  • St. Anthony of Padova – F
  • St. Nicola of Tolentino – E-flat
  • St. Agatha – D-flat
  • S. Teresa – C
  • S. Maria Lauretana – B-flat
  • Sts. Homobonus and Himerius (protectors of Cremona) – A-flat, note the central bell, the most important one.

These clappers are the original of the first concert. The originals were recast in 1744 by the milanese Bartolomeo Bozzi.

The Torrazzo facts

Tallest brick bell tower in Europe

Second highest historical bell tower in Italy

Second highest historical bell tower in Italy

Thirty-sixth (36th) in Europe

meters high

meters high

steps to climb

meters in diameter – the astronomical clock

meters in diameter – the astronomical clock

bells with 7 intonations

kilograms, weight of the heaviest bell

kilograms, weight of the heaviest bell

year of the end of the construction of the garland

VISITING HOURS

From 10:00 am to 12:30 pm and from 2:30 pm to 5:40 pm

Final admission 30 minutes before closing

ENTRANCE FEE
Torrazzo € 5,00
Torrazzo and Baptistery € 6,00

REDUCED ENTRANCE FEE
Torrazzo € 4,00 Torrazzo and Baptistery € 5,00

School groups on an educational trip, groups of more than 15 people, seniors over 65, Welcome Card holders