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Guardia Piemontese is located on the spur of the Serra Nicolino and dominates the Tyrrheanian Sea below; the town can be reached by passing through the Luigiane Spa centre. Guardia's history is tied to the happenings of the Valdesi, events which took place in the 12th century; more precisely, when a colony of refugees of the Valdese religion coming form the Valle di Angrogna took refuge in this area whilst fleeing the Inquisition of the Catholic Church. The Valdesi created one of the movements of Christian renewal in medieval Europe. Guardia Piemontese is divided into two zones: the ancient part and the "new" part, commonly known to the inhabitants as "Guardia Piemontese paese (town)" and "Guardia Piemontese marina (marine)"; the historical centre spreads out in numerous alleyways and narrow and winding streets paved in stone; there is a small watchtower, easily recognisable also from the "paese marino". The Porta del Sangue (Gate of the Blood), is the main entrance gateway, its name reminding one of the period of repression: the innocent blood of the Valdesi, killed on the night of the 15th June 1561, poured down from the castle into the streets as far as the gate which, since then, has been called "del sangue" ("of the blood").
Made up from different sized fragments of brick and stone stuck together with mortar of a different thickness, the Church of St. Andrew the Apostle, the town's patron saint, is also formed by an interesting portal in tufa stone and topped by Guardia's coat of arms: "the Tower". Do not miss the gate with the "spioncino" ("peep-hole"), built by wish of the Inquisition following the tragic date of 15th June 1561; the peep-hole enabled the Domenicans to control the public and private life of the ex heretics who escaped the massacre and who were made to adhere to Catholicism.
The Giovani Pascale Culture Centre is of interest: this is a museum which preserves the documentation of the Valdesi history as well as that of Farming Life, inaugurated in 1983. To be seen: the Val Pellicce rock, the Spinelli Portal, the Watchtower and the Carrouge Gate.
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