The defensive walls
The historic events that brought about the construction of the defensive walls date back to the Messapians, the Byzantines, the Normans, the Angevines, and the Aragonese.
The Aragonese, probably after the earthquake of the 1456, reinforced the walls and the towers of the previous period and enlarged the defensive boundary on the south side. This part of the wall was built in later years of the XV century and the beginning of the XVI century. It is based on a design made by trusted architects of the King of Aragon. The walls enclosed the area called Croce delle Palme, the Convent of the Franciscans, the Chiesa di Ognissanti and other buildings.
In the new part of the walls two more gates were opened, one called Porta San Francesco, located near the Convent of the Franciscans, and the other called Del Ponte located between two important embattled towers with a drawbridge.
The Aragonese walls and towers were surrounded by deep moats and defending the city there were troops living in the military quarter built in XV century.
This defensive system was demolished during the XVII century due to increase of population and the need for more living space. But recent excavations have revealed the foundation of one of the main towers now visible in piazza della Libertà.