Lucca


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Lucca

(lo͞ok`kä), city (1991 pop. 87,100), capital of Lucca prov., Tuscany, N central Italy, near the Ligurian Sea. It is a commercial and industrial center and an agricultural market (olive oil, wine, and tobacco). Manufactures include textiles (especially silk), paper, and food products. A Ligurian settlement, later a Roman town, Lucca became (6th cent.) the capital of a Lombard duchy and (12th cent.) a free commune, which soon developed into a republic. In spite of ruthless strife between Guelphs and Ghibellines and frequent wars (especially with Pisa and Florence) the city prospered. Its bankers and merchants were noted throughout Europe, as were its velvets and damasks. The arts also flourished after the 12th cent.; Lucchese sculpture reached its zenith in the 15th cent. with Matteo Civitali, whose fine works adorn the cathedral. Numerous churches, showing Pisan influence, were built from the 12th to the 14th cent. Save for short periods of rule by foreign powers and by tyrants (notably, Castruccio Castracani), Lucca remained an independent republic until Napoleon I made it a principality (1805) for his brother-in-law, Felice Baciocchi, and his sister Elisa. In 1817, Lucca became part of the duchy of Parma and in 1847 of the grand duchy of Tuscany; in 1860 it was annexed to the kingdom of Sardinia. The cathedral (11th–15th cent.) and the churches of San Frediano (begun in the 6th cent.) and San Michele (12th cent.) have fine marble facades. The city's ramparts (16th–17th cent.) are also notable.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Lucca

 

a city in central Italy in Tuscany, near the Serchio River (which empties into the Ligurian Sea); administrative center of Lucca Province. Population, 89,900 (1971); railroad junction. It has textile, tobacco, machine-building, paper, woodworking, and ceramics industries. Macaroni, olive oil, and wine are also produced.

The Ligurian settlement of Lucca was first mentioned in 218 B.C. From the sixth to the eighth century A.D., it was one of the residences of the Lombard kings; it later became a residence of the margraves of Tuscany. In the late 11th and early 12th centuries, after a struggle with the seignior-bishop, a commune was established in Lucca. Between the 12th and 14th centuries the city became a large commercial and trade center (silk and cloth). In 1316, Castruccio Castracani, who had extended the city’s domains, became the signore of Lucca. From the 15th to the 18th century, Lucca was an oligarchy. It was taken by the French in 1799-1800. From 1805 to 1814 the city was the administrative center of the Lucca and Piombino vassal principality, which was created by Napoleon and ruled by his sister Elisa Bacciocchi. Between 1814 and 1847 it was the administrative center of the Lucca and Piombino duchy, ruled by the Bourbons. In 1847 the city was ceded to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. In 1860, Lucca became part of the Kingdom of Sardinia, which became the Kingdom of Italy in 1861.

Architectural monuments in Lucca include the ruins of Roman walls and the remains of an ancient theater and amphitheater. Among the many fine buildings are the Romanesque Cathedral of San Martino (11th-15th centuries, Guidetto da Como and others; campanile, 13th century); the churches of San Frediano (1112-47) and San Michele (12th-13th centuries), the Renaissance Palazzo Pretorio (1492-1588, designed by Matteo Civitali), the Palazzo della Prefettura (1578-1728, begun by Bartolomeo Ammanati and finished by F. Pini according to F. Juvara’s plans), the Villa Guinigi (a museum of Roman and Italian art), and the National Art Gallery of the Palazzo Ducale (Tuscan painting).

REFERENCE

Fulvio, M. Lucca: Le sue corti, le sue strode, lesuepiazze. Empoli, 1968.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Lucca

a city in NW Italy, in Tuscany: centre of a rich agricultural region, noted for the production of olive oil. Pop.: 81 862 (2001)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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