The gate got its name from the near corner tower of the city walls, called “Dojon” (which is the local middle age form of the english word “dungeon”), with whom it used to be part of a fortified system, for a short period also bishops castle, on the north-east corner of the ancient walls. The inner arch was built in 1289 by Vecello da Cusighe on behalf of the bishop-count Adalgerio da Villalta, as part of a general reconstruction of the city walls after the war years during the bloody rule of Ezzelino da Romano. This reconstruction is testified by a square stone inscription, still readable on top of the inner gate, which also offers the oldest cot of arm of the city of Belluno. In 1553 Niccolò Tagliapietra built a second gate in front of the old one, and the ceiling of the space in between was decided in 1622. The original wooden wings date to the early XVI century, when they were replaced after the last siege the city suffered in 1509, led by emperor Maximilian I of Habsburg. The original venetian lion was destroyed in May 1797 by the Jacobins. Its place was taken at the end of XIX century by the 1424 lion originally fixed on top of the inner gate and then hidden by the ceiling in 1622, that preserved it from the hammers of Napoleon’s partisans.
Source: Marco Perale
Via Vittorio Emanuele, 32100 Belluno