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Born 1543 in Melida, Switzerland; died 1607 in Naples. Early baroque Italian architect.
Fontana worked in Rome (1563–92) and Naples (from 1592). He designed the Lateran Palace in Rome (1586–90) and the Royal Palace in Naples (1600–02). His most important works were his city designs for Rome: the construction of Via Felice (present day Via Sistina and other streets) and the construction of several obelisks, including one on St. Peter’s Square. Fontana’s urban designs did much to establish the baroque conception of the city as a system of formal ensembles.