Ghirlandina Tower

Tower Square

In 1938, a siren was installed on the Ghirlandina tower to be sounded in case of danger to alert the population of possible bombings. The repeaters, mounted on the spire of the Tower and operated by an electric mechanism, were activated following the sighting of bomber aircraft in the Modena sky and covered a radius of about three kilometres.

In case of failure of the electrical network, it was the responsibility of an Anti-Aircraft Protection Center delegate to travel as quickly as possible from the Precinct to the Ghirlandina to manually activate the alarm and ensure that the people of Modena still received the danger signal.

Its sound initiated emergency procedures during which all activities ha to cease until the all-clear signal was given. The alarm was activated hundreds of times, sometimes even multiple times a day, becoming an unmistakable sign for the people of Modena.

Entrance to the public shelter in Piazza Grande with the damages suffered by the Duomo in the bombing of May 13, 1944 in the background.

[Source: Poletti Art and Architecture Library – Tonini Collection]