/ / Portoferraio: photo description (Portoferraio)

Portoferraio: photo description (Portoferraio)

Portoferraio is a town in the province of Livorno, on the banks of the homonymous Bay on the island of Elba. The largest settlement of the island. Due to the topography most of the buildings of the city located on the slopes of a tiny hill surrounded on three sides by the sea.

Portoferraio was founded by Cosimo I de ' Medici, Duke of Tuscany, in 1548, the year called and cosmopolitan (Town Cosimo), as opposed to the Spanish citadel in Porto Azzurro. In the 16th century, the town had three Fort Forte Stella, Forte Falcone and Forte English - and the massive line of fortification walls, visible today. Until the 18th century, the island remained under the jurisdiction of the Duchy of Tuscany, and then because of its favorable location was a bone of contention between France, England and Austria. In 1801, the year a British garrison withstood the siege, but a year later the city was transferred to France. In 1814, the year it was exiled Napoleon Bonaparte - this was the first stop in his exile.

In the 19th century, and grew rapidly due to the construction of infrastructure and development of industry in Rio Marina. Then the city became a major port, which brought the metal ore on the continent - hence the town's name, meaning "Iron port". In 1860, the year the town became part of the Kingdom of Italy.

During the Second world war, when the Elbe was occupied by the Germans, Portoferraio became the scene of fierce fighting. In June 1944, French troops liberated the island after two days of battle, during which the city was destroyed.

In the late 1970's, the development of the steel industry began to wane, and for some time the economy of Portoferraio, in a situation of stagnation, but soon the port and the entire island began to develop into an internationally recognized tourist resort.

The main attractions of Portoferraio today - an ancient fortified FORTS Stella and Falcone and English, the Archeological Museum and the Napoleon house. Deserves attention and the city's lighthouse, located on the Northern tip of Forte Stella, - it was built in 1788, the year. 25-foot stone tower has a double balcony and the lantern, located at an altitude of 63 metres above sea level. The lighthouse is fully automated.

In addition, Portoferraio is famous for its Jewish community. The first Jews came here in the early 17th century, as the edict of Cosimo I promised privileges to all who decided to settle in a new city and cosmopolitan. In 1631-1632-years was built the first synagogue, although at that time on the island lived only about 10 Jewish families. In 1702, the year a decree was issued, according to which the Jews had to live in specially designed for them along via degli Ebrei (today via Elbano Gasperi), which was a small ghetto. To leave it was forbidden after midnight. Around the same time, a certain Abram Pardo was forbidden to build a new synagogue next to the Church, and he built her in the garden behind his house below Fort Stella. In the 18th century the city was equipped with a special cemetery for Jews, which was surrounded by a wall, is today in its place is a spacious garden, but the ruins of the wall with the main entrance visible to this day.