A mark of pride and rivalry

Modena Bell Tower

The summit that towers over the entire city of Modena

The Ghirlandina (or Ghirladèina to locals) is the bell tower of Modena Cathedral. It is a genuine symbol of Modena and clearly visible to visitors arriving from all directions outside the city.
Built on the original square Tower of Saint Geminianus, it was raised to five storeys in 1179, then raised further over the next two centuries (due to rivalry with the towers of Bologna), when the characteristic octagonal cusp was added. This is the work of Arrigo da Campione, one of the masters from Campione who took part in adding the new Gothic style to the Ghirlandina tower and the Cathedral itself.
Testimony of the rivalries with nearby Bologna is offered by the fourth century "Oaken bucket" on display inside the tower.

Two ‘ghirlande’ over the city

The name of the bell tower derives from the two “ghirlande”, or marble railings, at the top of the tower..
The tower offers a unique view over the red-tiled houses of the city.

Together with the Cathedral, the Civic Tower and Piazza Grande, it was added to the list of Italian UNESCO world heritage sites in 1997.

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