Siege of Tortona

The Battle of Gettysburg, by Thure de Thulstrup.

The first major military engagement resulting from Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa's ambition to enforce Imperial hegemony in Italy.

- Siege of Tortona

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Comune of Piemonte, in the Province of Alessandria, Italy.

Tortona Cathedral (postcard from c. 1890)
Piazza Duomo, with the cathedral and on the right the bishops' palace
Ancient map of the town
San Rocco church
Tower of Palazzo Guidobono
view of Colli Tortonesi

In 1155 Frederick Barbarossa besieged, captured and leveled Tortona to the ground, leaving not one stone upon another.

Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor

The Holy Roman Emperor from 1155 until his death 35 years later.

A golden bust of Frederick I, given to his godfather Count Otto of Cappenberg in 1171. It was used as a reliquary in Cappenberg Abbey and is said in the deed of the gift to have been made "in the likeness of the emperor".
Crusaders besieging Damascus in 1148
13th-century stained glass image of Frederick I, Strasbourg Cathedral
Penny or denier with Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa, struck in Nijmegen
Wax seal of Frederick I, used in the imperial residence of Pfalz Wimpfen
Frederick's so-called baptismal cup, silver, partly gilded, Aachen 1160
The Barbarossa Chandelier in Aachen Cathedral was donated by Frederick sometime after 1165 as a tribute to Charlemagne.
Frederick Barbarossa, middle, flanked by two of his children, King Henry VI (left) and Duke Frederick VI (right). From the Historia Welforum
The now secularised St Peter's Church at Petersberg Citadel, Erfurt, where Henry the Lion submitted to Barbarossa in 1181
Path of the Third Crusade, Frederick Barbarossa's path in red
Frederick Barbarossa depicted during the Third Crusade
Barbarossa drowns in the Saleph, from the Gotha Manuscript of the Saxon World Chronicle
A German expedition led by Johann Nepomuk Sepp to excavate the bones from the ruins of the Crusader Cathedral of Tyre, 1879
The Frederick Barbarossa Memorial, near Silifke in Mersin Province, southern Turkey. The text explains in Turkish and German how Frederick drowned nearby.
Frederick Barbarossa as a crusader, miniature from a copy of the Historia Hierosolymitana, 1188
Frederick sends out the boy to see whether the ravens still fly.

Obtaining the submission of Milan, he successfully besieged Tortona on 13 February 1155, razing it to the ground on 18 April.

Sling (weapon)

Projectile weapon typically used to throw a blunt projectile such as a stone, clay, or lead "sling-bullet".

Girl using (Locally known as 'Gofan') in India
Home-made sling
Home-made sling
Slingers on Trajan's Column.
Ancient Greek lead sling bullets with a winged thunderbolt moulded on one side and the inscription "ΔΕΞΑΙ" (Dexai) meaning 'take that' or 'catch' on the other side, 4th century BC, from Athens, British Museum.
Artistic depiction of a slinger from the Balearic Islands, famous for the skill of its slingers
Sling-bullets of baked clay and stone found at Ham Hill Iron Age hill fort.
A South American sling made of alpaca hair
Medieval traction trebuchet next to a staff slinger
Medieval staff slingers (stern castle)
A Tibetan girl guarding a herd of goats slings a small rock.
Arab shepherd boy using a sling, c. 1900–1920, Jerusalem

Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor employed slingers during the Siege of Tortona in 1155 to suppress the garrison while his own men built siege engines.


Common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.

Emperor Frederick I (middle) flanked by his two sons, Henry VI and Frederick VI.

Siege of Tortona: German forces capture the citadel of Tortona (after a two-month siege). The city is razed to the ground, including the graves.

List of sieges

A chronological list of sieges follows.

A naval action during the siege of Tyre (332 BC), by Andre Castaigne (1898–1899)
Siege of Rhodes (305 BC) (1882 illustration).
Archimedes Directing the Defenses of Syracuse (213-212 BC), by Thomas Ralph Spence
The Decline of the Carthaginian Empire (149–146 BC) by J. M. W. Turner, oil on canvas (1817)
The Siege and Destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans Under the Command of Titus, A.D. 70 by David Roberts, 1850
The walls of Amida, besieged 359 AD
Totila razes the walls of Florence: 14th century illustration from Giovanni Villani's Nuova Cronica
The capture of Pavia by the Lombard King, Alboin: Siege of Pavia, 572 AD
The Siege of Constantinople by the combined Sassanid, Avar, and Slavic forces in 626. A 1537 depiction on the murals of the Moldovița Monastery, Romania
Greek fire, used by the Byzantine navy to destroy the Arab fleets at the 717–718 Siege of Constantinople. Illustration from a 12th-century illuminated manuscript (Madrid Skylitzes)
Carolingian-era siege warfare. Illustration of Psalm 60 from the Golden Psalter of St. Gallen, c. 890.
Count Odo defends Paris against the Normans (885-886) by Jean-Victor Schnetz. Oil on canvas (1834–1836)
Fall of Antioch to the Byzantines under Michael Bourtzes on 28 October 969. Chronicle of John Skylitzes, 12th century illustration.
Depiction of the siege of Chandax (960-961) from the history of John Skylitzes
Siege of Valenciennes in 1006, illustration (1885).
The Byzantine army of George Maniakes defends the towers of Edessa against an Arab counterattack (1031). Illustration from the chronicle of John Skylitzes
Prince Bohemond of Taranto scales the walls of Antioch in 1098. 19th century engraving by Gustave Doré.
Taking of Jerusalem by the Crusaders, 15 July 1099 by Émile Signol. Oil on canvas, 1850.
Siege of Lisbon (1147) by Alfredo Roque Gameiro (1917)
Siege of Naples in 1191 by the forces of Holy Roman Emperor Henry VI, Peter of Eboli, Liber ad honorem Augusti, Palermo, 1196
The Entry of the Crusaders into Constantinople (1204) Eugène Delacroix. Oil on canvas, 1840
Crusaders attack the tower of Damietta (1218). A 1625 painting by Cornelis Claesz van Wieringen.
16th century illustration of the Mongol sack of Kiev in 1240.
The Mongols besieged the "fortified mountain" of Gerdkuh for 17 years.
The Mongol army besieging Baghdad in 1258.
The Siege of Acre. The Hospitalier Master Mathieu de Clermont defending the walls in 1291 by Dominique Papety. 1840.
Siege of Calais (1346–1347)
Joan of Arc at the Siege of Orléans (1429) by Jules Eugène Lenepveu, painted 1886–1890
Fall of Constantinople (1453)
Siege of Krujë in 1466. Woodcut by Jost Amman, from Philipp Lonicer, Chronicorum Turcicorum, Frankfurt 1578
Siege of Granada (1492)
The Last Days of Tenochtitlan—Conquest of Mexico (1521) by William de Leftwich Dodge, 1899.
Sack of Rome of 1527 by Johannes Lingelbach, 17th century.
Battle of Tunis 1535 Attack on Goletta. Frans Hogenberg after Jan Cornelisz Vermeyen, 16th century.
Ottoman depiction of the siege of Nice (1543) by Matrakçı Nasuh.
Attack on Tripoli by the Ottomans (1551)
The Siege of Calais, 9 January 1558, by François-Édouard Picot, 1838.
The siege of Malta—Arrival of the Turkish fleet (1565) by Matteo Pérez de Alesio, 16th century
Spanish troops storming the city of Maastricht, 1579
During the Cologne War (1583–89), Ferdinand of Bavaria successfully besieged the medieval fortress of Godesberg; during a month-long siege, his sappers dug tunnels under the feldspar of the mountain and laid gunpowder and a 1500-pound bomb. The result was a spectacular explosion that sent chunks of the ramparts, the walls, the gates, and drawbridges into the air. His 500 men still could not take the fortress until they scaled the interior latrine system and climbed the mountain to enter through a hole in the chapel roof.
Henry IV of France before Amiens (1597), Anonymous
Joseon and Ming dynasty soldiers assault the Japanese-built fortress at Ulsan (1598)
Siege of Zaltbommel by the Spanish in 1599 by Hugo Grotius
Siege of Ostend (1601-4) by Peter Snayers, oil on canvas.
Monks successfully defended the Troitse-Sergiyeva Lavra against the Poles from September 1609 to January 1611.
The Summer Battle of Osaka Castle (1614–15), 17th century Japanese painting
The Surrender of Breda (1625) by Diego Velázquez.
Cardinal Richelieu at the Siege of La Rochelle (1627–1628) by Henri-Paul Motte, 1881.
The Capture of Rheinfelden (1634) by Vincenzo Carducci.
Siege of Kraków, 8 October 1655. View from 1697 by the German historian Samuel Pufendorf.
The assault of Copenhagen on the night between 10 and 11 February 1659 by Daniel Vertangen, 1659.
Musketeers of the Guard entering the citadel of Valenciennes (1676-77).
Reoccupation of Buda Castle in 1686. Gyula Benczúr (1896), oil on canvas
Siege of Belgrade, 1688 by Adlerschwung
Siege of Namur 1692, by Jean-Baptiste Martin, 1693.
Siege of Namur (1695) by Jan van Huchtenburg.
Tapestry depicting the 1702 victory of Archduke Joseph of Austria at Landau, woven for Leopold, Duke of Lorraine, between 1710 and 1718.
Siege of Toruń in 1703.
View of Gibraltar in 1704
Prussian infantry breaks the French lines during the relief of Turin in 1706
Siege of Lille in 1708
Depiction of the siege of Barcelona: The assault on the main body of the Place (1714) by Jacques Rigaud
Austrian land and naval bombardment puts Belgrade in flames during the siege of 1717.
British attack on Cartagena de Indias (1741) by Luis Fernández Gordillo.
Oil on canvas, Naval Museum of Madrid
Conquest and pillage of Bergen-op-Zoom by the French in 1747.
Siege of Louisbourg (1758): British burning of the warship Prudent and the capturing of the Bienfaisant.
The Capture of Havana, 1762: Storming of Morro Castle, 30 July by Dominic Serres, oil on canvas (1770–1775)
The Defeat of the Floating Batteries at Gibraltar, September 1782
Spanish grenadiers pour into Fort George (Pensacola, Florida) (1781)
Siege of Belgrade in 1789 by the Habsburg army
Siege of Lille (1792) by Louis Joseph Watteau
The capitulation of Mantua on 2 February 1797, Hippolyte Lecomte, 1812
The Last Effort and Fall of Tipu Sultan (1799) by Henry Singleton
Siege of Gdańsk by French forces in 1807
Assault on the walls of Zaragoza by January Suchodolski
The Siege of Burgos (1812) by François Joseph Heim.
American troops landing in Veracruz (1847) during the Mexican–American War
Siege of Kars, 1839
A barricade on Rue Voltaire, after its capture by the regular army during the Bloody Week of Commune of Paris (1871)
American soldiers scale the walls of Beijing to relieve the Siege of the Legations, August 1900
A casemate at Maubeuge, destroyed by German bombardment, 7 September 1914
Anti-aircraft fire near St. Isaac's Cathedral during the defense of Leningrad in 1941.
Coalition airstrike in Kobanî on Islamic State position, October 2014
Depiction of the siege of Lachish from an Assyrian wall relief
A mural from the tomb of Ramesses II in Thebes depicting the siege of Dapur
A Medieval depiction of the siege of Jerusalem in 587 BC.

Siege of Tortona (1155)