Inhabitants in 1991: 26.364
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