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Towns of the area

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Inhabitants in 1991: 26.364

The municipal territory of Poggibonsi extends for 70,73 square kilometres between the hills and the plain of the medium Val d’Elsa. Free municipality then Podesta office.

The history of Pogginbonsi started in 1115 by the Fiorentini destruction of the Marturi castle over which the Counts Giudi exercised their Lordship: in consequence to this the population was forced to transfer entirely from the village which had developed at the feet of the hill. But the Fiorentina territorial expansion towards the borders of Siena induced the latter to an alliance with the Guidi and together decided in 1155 to found a new castle, Podium Bonizi, a short distance from that which had been destroyed. There was a rapid but unsuccessful counter offensive against them by Firenze, who only in 1176 after the defeat of Siena managed to obtain half of Poggibonsi. From this moment the castle already organised in municipality at the end of the XII century, important transit point on the via Francigena and ever growing important economic centre, found itself at the centre of the struggle between Firenze and Siena for the predominance over its territory. Preoccupied in defending its autonomy and balancing the influence of the two major cities, Poggibonsi however, in 1221 finished up by signing an agreement with Siena, to openly manifest their sympathy for Siena and the Ghibelline, which brought on the hostility of Firenze and which was among the causes of the war with Siena. Devastated and partly destroyed by the Fiorentino army for the first time in 1254 and then in 1257, Poggibonsi ten years later after a long siege, had to submit to Carlo d’Angio and its rebellion was in vain: in fact the defeat of Corradino di Svevia at Tagliacozzo (1268) and the Senesi at Colle (1269) provoked a new offensive by the Angio forces who conquered the castle (1270) dismantling the walls and forcing the inhabitants to establish themselves in the plain were the present day Poggibonsi arose. The official submission to Firenze was signed only at the end of 1293. Even though impoverished of men and resources in the XIV century Poggibonsi continued to be an important centre administratively regulated by their own statutes, not withstanding the repeated attacks by Pisa in 1363, by Ladislao di Durazzo in 1411, and by Alfonso d’Aragona in 1479. Devastated again by the troops of Clemente VII (1529), it became a point of strength for the Medicee forces during the war of Siena. In the last conflict the municipality suffered numerous and disastrous bombardments.

Places to visit:
Palazzo Pretorio, has numerous coats of arms on its façade. It is flanked by a Medieval tower.
Collegiate, an ancient establishment, it was remodelled in 1860. Has a 1300s prestigious baptismal font.
S. Lucchese, convent complex initially Camaldolesi then Francescani, it is found outside the town. The Romanic church with the interior reconstructed after the last war hosts precious paintings.

Historical info reproduced upon authorization of Regione Toscana - Dipartimento della Presidenza E Affari Legislativi e Giuridici
Translated by Ann Mountford

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