One of the distinctive features of the bastion was the piazza bassa (lit. "low square"), constructed in the bastion flank, at the point where the bastion abutted the curtain wall. Every landward bastion had two such piazze, built at an intermediate level between the ditch and the scarp. They were protected by the rounded sections at the ends of the bastion faces, which became known as oreillons on account of their resemblance to ear lobes.
Drawing of a piazza bassa in the walls, 2004 (Antonis Katzourakis, Multimedia Lab)