Guaita (First tower)
First fortress (Guaita)
One of Italy’s oldest fortress towers
When exactly the first of the three fortress towers, known as Rocca or Guaita, was built, is unknown. Construction presumably began in the 10th century. The Guaita consists of the central fortress tower and two rings of walls. The outer ring adorned with battlements is a remnant of the original defence wall. The multiplicatively renovated defensive fortification gained particular significance in the 15th century, when San Marino was at war with the Malatesta family from Rimini. The turret Penna inside the fortification, which includes a 16th century bell tower, dates back to this time. The Guaita was used as a prison until the early 1970s. Today, artillery pieces, which originate from endowments by the Italian kings Viktor Emanuel II and Viktor Emanuel III, are kept in the tower. Volleys are fired from them on important holidays.