The towers of Bologna represent a monumental symbol and one of the most characteristic features in the skyline of the city. Originally, these imposing structures served for military purposes, but also as private residence for medieval noble families.
Between the 12th and 13th centuries, the number of towers present in Bologna was very large. The ruins testifies that there were up to 100 towers, while today only 24 have survived. It is thought that the wealthiest families, in the tumultuous period of the investiture pro-imperial versus those pro-papal, used the towers as defensive outposts and as a symbol of power.
The two most famous towers in Bologna are the Asinelli and the Garisenda, strategically placed on the entrance of the city. These impressive architectural complexes are named after the families who worked on their construction, between 1109 and 1119.