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"El Campanon" City Hall Tower: what's to know
The civic tower of Nizza Monferrato is incorporated in the municipal building. It is one of the most important attractions of the city and is known by the Nices as "el Campanòn". It was built, on a quadrangular section, in the heart of the city defended by walls which were, until the middle of the seventeenth century, very well equipped and fortified. Over the centuries, the tower underwent numerous renovations and adaptations to the taste of the different eras. In 1880, following a public competition, the project for the redefinition of the tower according to the neo-Gothic style was accepted, through the formation of battlements and the construction of an access staircase to the terrace. During the harsh siege that the city of Nizza Monferrato underwent by the Savoyards in 1613, many bombard and colubrine shots were fired which, however, did not weaken, as evidenced by memories and reports, the tenacious resistance of the Nicesi. Right on the masonry of the north side of the tower, a cannonball stuck in the wall is still visible. Inside the tower there is a large bronze bell which still tolls at all hours today, while traditionally on the day of St. Stephen it is hammered to commemorate an ancient event. The bell, already subjected to a severe test in 1913 to celebrate Vittorio Buccelli's third election as deputy, rings to greet the end of the "great war" and breaks. It will then be recast with the addition of the bronze of a mortar donated by the liberated Municipality of Trieste; on 17/10/1919 it was relocated on the tower. For almost two centuries, the marvelous mechanism of the bell clock has been protected in a small room to protect against dust and humidity. The precious mechanism was supplied by the award-winning company Granaglia e C. of Turin.