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Padua(păd`yo͞oə), Ital. Padova, city (1991 pop. 215,137), capital of Padova prov., in Venetia, NE Italy, connected by canal with the Brenta, Adige, and Po rivers. It is an agricultural, commercial, and major industrial center and a transportation junction. Manufactures include machinery, motor vehicles, leather goods, textiles, and processed food. Called Patavium by the Romans, it was second to Rome in wealth. The city was destroyed by the Lombards in A.D. 601 but recovered quickly. Except for a 20-year period of rule by Ezzelino da Romano, Padua was from the 12th to the 14th cent. a free commune of great political and economic importance. It subdued neighboring cities and became an artistic center, where Giotto painted his masterpiece, a series of frescoes (1304–6) in the Capella degli Scrovegni. Under the rule of the munificent Carrara family (1318–1405) and under the domination of Venice (1405–1797), Padua continued to flourish. Mantegna (1431–1506), a native of Padua, produced much work there; parts of frescoes executed by him are preserved in the 13th-century Eremitani church. Other notable structures in the city include the six-domed basilica of St. Anthony (1232–1307), whose high altar is adorned with bronzes by Donatello; the bronze equestrian statue of Gattamelata (a Venetian general), also by Donatello, in the square of the basilica; the classical cathedral; and the law courts. The Univ. of Padua, the oldest in Italy after that of Bologna, was founded in 1222 by teachers and students who had fled from Bologna. Now centered in Il Bo palace, the university established the first anatomy hall (well preserved) in Europe in 1594. Galileo taught (1592–1610) at the university, and Dante, Petrarch, and Tasso were students there.
(Padova), a city in northern Italy, in the region of Veneto. Capital of the province of Padua. Population, 231,200 (1971).
An important transportation junction, Padua is connected with the Adriatic Sea by canal. Local industries produce synthetic fibers. A diversified machine-building industry produces machine tools, instruments, bicycles, agricultural machinery, and motors. Padua also has electrotechnic, food-processing, footwear, garment, furniture, woodworking, paper, and printing industries. It is host to a yearly international fair. There is a university in the city (from 1222).
According to the Roman historian Livy, the first historical mention of Padua (Patavium) dates from the fourth century B.C. In A.D. 601, Padua was almost completely destroyed by the Lombards, but it was rebuilt shortly thereafter. At the beginning of the 12th century it became a commune. In the 13th century it was an important center for handicrafts and trade, and yearly fairs drew people from all of Italy. In the beginning of the 14th century the rule of the Carrara family was established in Padua. Their authority was temporarily usurped by the La Scala and Visconti families. From 1405 to 1797, Padua was part of the Venetian Republic. In the 15th to 17th centuries, it was a major cultural center. P. Pomponazzi, A. Vesalius, and Galileo taught at Padua’s university, which enjoyed widespread fame in Europe. After 1797 the city was alternately under the control of Austria and France. In 1813 the domination of the Austrian Hapsburgs was established; it was consolidated by the Congress of Vienna in 1814–1815. In 1866, Padua became part of the Kingdom of Italy.
Padua has the remains of ancient Roman tombs, bridges, an amphitheater, and a forum. During the Renaissance, the city became a major art center, attracting the artists Giotto (frescoes in the Scrovegni Chapel), Donatello, Mantegna, and Titian (frescoes in the Scuola del Santo). The Piazza del Santo is the site of the Basilica di Sant’ Antonio (Il Santo, begun 1231) and Donatello’s equestrian statue of the Condottiere Gattamelata (1447–53; bronze, marble, and limestone). Padua has the spectacular Palazzo della Ragione (1215–1306), and the cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta (16th century, architect Andrea da Valle). Museums in Padua include the Civic Museum (mainly 15th- to 19th-century paintings and sculptures), the Museum of Sant’ Antonio (art works from the church and monastery of Sant’ Antonio), and the Bottacin Museum (numismatic and archaeological collections).
REFERENCESPadova: Guida ai monumenti e alle opere d’arte. Venice, 1961.
La Città di Padova: Saggio di analisi urbana. Rome, 1970.