Le fortificazioni litoranee di Terra d’Otranto: una panoramica sulle torri costiere della provincia di Lecce

During the Modern Age we witnessed the birth, consolidation and decline of great powers that dragged numerous political and religious conflicts with them. The Mediterranean Sea, as area of contact between the most distant Empires, experienced an era of intense naval activity in the form of piracy, race wars and armed deterrence, spreading along its shores with coastal watch towers.

The organization of the defensive coastal system took place in intimate relationship with the territory, strongly characterizing the coasts which for centuries have seen them as the unique anthropical presence. Their exclusively military character has, however, inhibited their reuse over time, arousing until a few decades ago the disinterest of the community and their disavowal of architectures worthy of protection. The knowledge of the historical events and the morphotypological characteristics of the Apulian system of coastal towers thus becomes the starting point for their acknowledgment as fundamental identifying characters of the territory, finalizing their study to the re-appropriation of these assets by the community as strategical vehicles for the transmission of the local history and its intrinsic values. The classification of the towers in the province of Lecce has made them the object of spatial and typological analyses produced with the help of the opensource software “Quantum GIS” and geo-referenced on the official cartographic bases.