The Porta Borsari in Verona separates the Corso Borsari, which leads to the Piazza delle Erbe, from the Corso Cavour, which leads to the Castelvecchio. It was constructed in the 1st century BC and was originally called Porta Iovia.
Porta Borsari Verona
History and description
The Corso Cavour got its present name in 1867. When the gate was built the ancient Roman consular road Via Postumia, which connected the Adriatic and Tyrrhenian coasts, entered the city through its archways. Once through the gate, it became the decumanus maximus, in Roman cities the main artery from east to west.
The gate was named Porta Iovia because there was a temple dedicated to Jupiter nearby. Ruins of this temple can still be seen in the gardens of the adjacent Monumental Churchyard.
The original gate consisted of a double facade with two gates and a central courtyard. Nowadays only the outer facade is left. the facades had three levels, whisch was typical for gates constructed in the imperial period.
In general, gates giving access to a Roman city’s two main roads, the decumanus maximus and the cardo maximus, were seen as representative of a city’s importance and were thus richly decorated. The Porta Borsari is no exception.
Soldiers and tax collectors were stationed in the gate’s courtyard.
The gate was reconstructed in the 1st century AD.
The gate was reconstructed in the 1st century AD. The inscription on the architraves above the two arches was placed there by Emperor Gallienus. It claims that the city walls were completely reconstructed in the year 265. In reality this complete reconstruction consisted of no more than some maintenance work and reinforcements in a couple of spots.
The present name, Porta dei Borsari, stems from the middle ages. Bursarii were the people collecting tax for the bishops.
Of the original construction only the outer facade is left. The bottom level has two rounded arches, framed by pillars with Corinthian capitals which support the pediments. The two upper levels have rounded windows.