The sword in the Stone? It is in the Sarzana Cathedral

The history of Sarzana is very long and rich. Among the folds of the centuries, there are also some mysteries to which no one – even today – has been able to provide a definite answer. An example is preserved by the elegant facade of the Cathedral of Sarzana S. Maria Assunta that faces the central Via Mazzini (the second church one encounters coming from Piazza Matteotti after passing the house of the Bonapartes on the right). Looking at the church, high up on the left, one will notice a sword hilt protruding from the stones. The Sarzana version of the sword in the stone is the sword hilt that everyone has tried to interpret without reaching anything clear and definitive.

Is the sword hilt just a sundial?

Looking at the mysterious sword embedded in the stone of Sarzana Cathedral, some have suggested that it might simply be a sundial. This hypothesis is the simplest among those proposed, but it has been dismissed as studies deepened in favor of other, far more intriguing explanations.

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It symbolizes a long-standing dispute leading to lasting peace. Supporting this thesis is a detail inside the church. The second column on the left has its marble base visibly damaged. It is said to be the point where the leaders of the battling parties broke their swords to confirm their willingness to achieve peace. However, there is uncertainty about which war the symbol would have ended.

Is it the sword of Lorenzo the Magnificent?

According to some, the battle that ended dramatically is the War of Serrezzana, fought between the Republic of Genoa and the Medici’s Florence for control of Sarzana in 1487. Lorenzo the Magnificent himself took part in the conflict.

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