Mantua


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Mantua

(măn`cho͞oə, –to͞oə), Ital. Mantova, city (1991 pop. 53,065), capital of Mantova prov., Lombardy, N Italy, bordered on three sides by lakes formed by the Mincio River. It is an agricultural, industrial, and tourist center. Manufactures include machinery, metals, furniture, and refined petroleum. Originally an Etruscan settlement, Mantua was later a Roman town and afterward a free commune (12th–13th cent.). It flourished under the GonzagaGonzaga
, Italian princely house that ruled Mantua (1328–1708), Montferrat (1536–1708), and Guastalla (1539–1746). The family name is derived from the castle of Gonzaga, a village near Mantua.
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 family (1328–1708), who were magnificent patrons of the arts. Mantua passed to Austria in 1708, was taken by Napoleon I in 1797, was retaken by Austria in 1815, and was returned to Italy in 1866. The Gonzaga palace (13th–18th cent.), among the largest and finest in Europe, has frescoes by Mantegna and Giulio Romano and numerous other works of art. Other landmarks include the Palazzo del Te (1525–35); the Church of Sant' Andrea (15th–18th cent.), designed by Alberti, where Mantegna is buried; and the law courts (13th cent.).
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Mantua

 

(also Mantova), a city in Northern Italy, in Lombardy. It is located on an island in a lake-like widening of the Mincio River, near its confluence with the Po. It is the capital of the province of Mantua. Population, 65,900 (1971); river port and railroad junction. Industrial activities include oil refining and the production of petrochemicals. Other important products are agricultural machinery, ceramics, paper, furniture, silk, and sugar.

Mantua, which was founded by the Etruscans, is the site of the Accademia Virgiliana (Vergilian Academy of Arts and Sciences). Nearby is the little town of Pietole (known in ancient times as Andes), which is considered to be the birthplace of Vergil. During the 15th and 16th centuries, Mantua was one of the centers of the Italian Renaissance. Between 1628 and 1631 a war was fought for the territory of Mantua and Montferrat.

Mantua has many noteworthy medieval architectural monuments. On the Piazza delle Erbe are located the Rotunda di San Lorenzo (11th century), the Palazzo della Ragione (1250), and the Palazzo Broletto (1227-73). The Piazza Sordello is the site of the Palazzo Bonacolsi (13th century) and the cathedral (rebuilt in 1545 by Giulio Romano). Also in Mantua are the Palazzo Ducale complex, which is now a museum (1290-1708; including the apartments of Isabella d’Este, 16th century), and the Castle of St. George (1395-1406, architect Bartolino Ploti da Novara; including the Camera degli Sposi with frescoes by Mantegna, 1474). Renaissance churches in the city include San Sebastiano (1460) and Sant’ Andrea (1472-94), which were both designed by L. B. Alberti and executed by the architect L. Fancelli. There are several buildings by Giulio Romano in Mantua, including the Palazzo di Giustizia (1530) and the Palazzo del Te (1525-34). Another noteworthy building in the city is the Palazzo del Accademia Virgiliana (facade by architect G. Piermarini, 1773).

REFERENCE

Mantova: La storia, le lettere, le arti, vols. 1-9. Mantua, 1958-65.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Mantua

a city in N Italy, in E Lombardy, surrounded by lakes: birthplace of Virgil. Pop.: 47 790 (2001)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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