ANGELI Gate

The Porta degli Angeli (Gate of the Angels) opens along the walls overlooking the S. Bartolomeo moat and is located almost on axis with the ancient Church of Our Lady of the Angels of the Carmelite Fathers.
The oldest gate, however, was located further north, before the great bastion of St Catherine. Brusco’s eighteenth-century drawings, some of which were certainly made on the basis of much earlier surveys, show us the point where the old gate opened, already referred to as the “Porta Murata”. The drawing shows an archivolt and access to a lane outside the walls, which descended beyond the ramparts and connected with the main road leading along the Polcevera valley. We know that in December 1693 a petition for the reopening of the “Old Gate of the Angels” was sent to the Fathers of the Commune, and this document indicates that the construction of the new gate and the consequent closure of the old one can be traced back to a few years earlier, probably around 1680.

The “Porta Murata”, used as a quarter for the soldiers guarding the Walls, underwent extensive transformations from the 18th century onwards, until it was completely integrated into the new Battery of the Angels, which began in the first half of the 19th century.
The new Porta degli Angeli (Gate of the Angels), which still connects the old quarter of the Angels with the mule track to Granarolo, is not very different from the gateway surveyed in the 18th century by Brusco and Codeviola. In the drawings of the latter, the portello was a simple and short tunnel covered by a barrel vault, which continued inside the walls in a straight stretch of road, semi-enclosed in a trench and ending in an archivolt.
From this point, the street turned at a right angle, passing in front of the Church and the Oratory of the Carmelites, and then continued in the original direction towards the town. The environment today is not very different from then, and is perhaps even more evocative of the sense of isolation that it probably could not enjoy in the eighteenth century, animated as it was by the bustle of farmers and travellers. The entrance gallery, characterised on the front of the Wall by a low arch portal surmounted by a coat of arms, was originally closed by a drawbridge and had a first floor used as accommodation for the guards. In the 19th-century transformation, the parapet of the wall was raised by about one metre and the rooms on the first floor were demolished and covered with a thick layer of earth, so as to have inside the “ramparo”, an uninterrupted service road, between one battery and another of the bastions.

(Taken from “Le Fortificazioni di Genova” by Leone Carlo Forti)

Mappa Porta degli Angeli