Welcome to Medieval Bologna
Why should a gate and main artery of Bologna be named for a city in far-off Spain? Nobody knows, though historians guess it might have been in honour of some long-ago victory of Christians over Moors in the Reconquista.
Though built in the 13th century, and given a drawbridge a century later, it was an 1859 restoration that gave the Porta its cinematographic medieval appearance. By then, this had become the 'Holy Gate' through which pilgrims would pass on their pilgrimage, leading up the Portico di San Luca, which begins here, to the Madonna di San Luca.