PORTA MURATA OR The Closed Gate
HISTORY AND DESCRIPTION
Porta Murata, or the Closed Gate, along with thirteen other gates, is part of the four kilometers of wall built between the 11th and 13th centuries that still encircles Viterbo today. In ancient times, the gate seems to have been called Porta di Capo di Piaggia as it is mentioned in the Statute of Viterbo of 1237 regarding a request to the magistrate to channel the waters in the existent motes in Vallis et Pectinarii Rianensis . It has also been called Porta di Castel Sant’angelo because it faced from the Castel Sant’Angelo towards the Piazza della Rocca. The gate was closed around 1540, but was reopened in 1920 by the Prefectural Commissioner Alexander Ciofi degli Atti, who changed its name to Porta Ferentana for its orientations towards Ferento . The door has two arches of different heights, which shows the impact of the closing and reopening of the gate at different periods. On the inside of the gate there is a bronze inscription from 1962, dedicated to St. Bonaventure, a Franciscan saint born in Civita di Bagnoregio in 1217. This gate is bordered by the church dedicated to St. Francis. This is significant because when he was a teenager, St. Bonaventure was cured of a dangerous illness by the intercession of St. Francis.
Translation by Clare Kuntz, Goucher College, enrolled in the USAC Viterbo program.
M.Galeotti, Illustrissima città di Viterbo, 2001
G Peruzzi, Le tredici porte di Viterbo, Roma, 1969
S. Valtieri, La genesi urbana di Viterbo, Roma 1977