Siberia Door – old pier

Starting from the late thirties of the sixteenth century, together with the new defensive wall built to withstand the technological evolution of firearms, it was decided to fortify also the old pier, namely the peninsula that constitutes and repairs the natural port of Genoa to the east.
The task of designing the architecture of the new door, which had to replace the medieval one located at the western end of the pier itself, was entrusted to Galeazzo Alessi in 1550. Its realization, by Antonio Roderio, took place in the immediately following years in 1553, as reported by the marble inscription overlooking the passage. More than a simple access to the city, in particular to public food warehouses (Magazzini dell'Abbondanza) - hence the nickname of Siberia Door, distorsion of the term “Cibaria” - Alessi, has provided for a real architectural complex, since he had already military-type design experiences in Perugia, his hometown.
Although, in fact, the door has a rather simple internal side, classically decorated and opened by three arches, on the external side expresses movement and is almost revolutionary: the access gate, with rusticated ashlar and flanked by powerful columns crowned by Doric capitals, opens onto an elliptical space consisting of the lateral ramparts in an advanced position with respect to the door itself. The architect has been able to impart a very effective aggressive character to that section of the wall facing the open sea, the so-called “fronte a tenaglia”.