The Cathedral already existed in the 11th century and was rebuilt more than once. Walls of the Gothic chapels still remain on the right flank while the bell tower is Romanesque.
The first reconstructions of the Cathedral of Mantova have started in the middle of the 16th century according to the wooden model designed by Giulio Romano. However, the new facade, to replace the late Gothic one, was never finished. The present facade in Carrara marble was built between 1756 and 1761by the architect Nicolo Baschiera in a stayle which combined the Neoclassic and the Baroque.
Torre della Gabbia, dating to the 14th century, is over fiftly meters high and has been repeatedly restored. In 1576 an iron cage, in which criminals were displayed to the public, was installed about halfway up.
The medieval Palazzo Acerbi, also knpwn as Palazzo Guerrieri, stands in Piazza Sordello between Torre della Gabbia and Voltone di San Pietro. The battlements, on the top of the palace, were the result of 19th c. restoration which attempted to restore its presumed medieval look to the square.
Rotonda di San Lorenzo is an circular Romanesque church, which is the oldest church in the town of Mantova, built in 1082 for Matilda of Canossa. In 1579 Guglielmo Gonzaga had the building closed to worship and partially torn down. It was subsequently incorporated into the adjycent buildings. In the beginning of the 20th century the church was brought back to light and the missing parts were rebuilt in a neo-Romanesque style.
The great Torre dell'Orologio, (Clock Tower), built in 1473, stands to the right of the Palazzo della Ragione. The present look of the tower is the result of a nineteenth-century restoration.
The clock at the center of the tower was originally built by the mathematician Bartolomeo Manfredi, with a mechanism that marked the months and the positions of the stars as well as the hours.
Below the clock, in a niche, is an seventeenth-century statue of the Madonna Immacolata, while the crowning of the Tower, by Antonio Maria Viani, dates to 1612.
The castle of San Giorgio is important part of the panorama of the city of Mantova, located in the peripheral site overlooking the lakes. It was built between 1390 and 1406 by the engineer Bartolino da Novara. The castle was increased in the middle of the 15th century rebuilding of the central court by Andrea Mantegna and Luca Fancelli.
The most attractive part of the castle is Camera Picta or Camera degli sposi, with the treasure of Renaissance painting by Andrea Mantegna.
mantova è una di quelle città che non finiranno mai di stupirti! o almeno questa è l'impressione di chi come me, nata e vissuta qui, l'ha vista.
Descrivere tutto sarebbe impossibile anche perché le emozioni provate nell'entrare in posti simili sono particolarmente intense!
www.a-mantova.com contiene non solo foto e informazioni turistiche molto apporfondite,ma anche notizie storiche.
Mantova is one of those cities that never cease to amaze you...or at least this is the impression she give me one those who have spent their life (even though not long) there!
If have so much to see and words hardly describes the emotions you feel entering one of the sites that make Mantova special.
If are interested in art and history you'll love this city! Mantua was raised to major importance as a European Court, rising artistically, culturally, of religious and military importance. At the Gonzagas Court artists like Pisanello, Mantegna, Perugino, Correggio, Leon Battista Alberti, Luca Fancelli, Giulio Romano, G.B.Bertani, Viani, Rubens, Fetti. Were working and a great number of Renaissance masterpieces came into in their collections. The Palazzo del Podestà (Town Hall - 1227) in Broletto square, the Palazzo della Ragione(1250) Erbe square. The town was embellished with new churches S. Andrea (1472) .... many new on line: http://www.a-mantova.com/
Please visit the web site to have a view what Mantova offer.
Otherwise this are links to some of the most famous places to see
One of the most famous palaces:
Churches to see:
...& lots more!
Palazzo del Podesta is composed of two contiguous structures, one overlooking the Piazza Broletto with the tall Town Tower - Torre Comunale -, the other overlooking Piazza delle Erbe. There were originally two symmetrical towers but one on the southeast was torn down in the early 1900s.
Palazzo del Podesta, also known as Broletto, dates from 1227 and was subsequently damaged by the fire in 1413 and then restored several times by the Gonzaga, until finally, after 1462 Luca Fancelli was called in.
Basilica di Sant'Andrea, the largest religious building in Mantova, was designed by Leon Battista Alberti, and is one of the best known Renaissance churches in the world.
The origin of the huge complex is traditionally set in the 9th century, with the construction of a building to house the relic of the blood of Christ, brought to Mantova by Longinus, the soldier who had pierced the side of Christ on the cross.
The building, according to Alberti's ideas, was to be unusual, large enough to hold great crowds and modeled on a heretofore unused type, that of the Etruscan temple.
The original layout of the Arco dell'Arengario dates to the early 14th century and it was built to connect the Palazzo della Podesta with the Palazzo del Massaro where the administartor of the City's property resided.
In Palazzo del Massaro there are rooms decorated with heraldic devices of Gianfrancesco Gonzaga.
See the glimpse of the majestic interior pf the Basilica di Sant'Andrea.
This great monumental interior, in Latin-cross plan, have a nave and square side chapels alternating with smaller chapels covered by cupolas. The idea of a single hall with side chapels is typical of Alberti and was later frequently adopted in 16th and 17th century architecture.
One of the smallest chapel holds the tomb of Andrea Mantegna, buried beneath the floor in 1506. On the left, next to the entrance door is the lovely bronze bust of Mantegna.
The huge complex, called the Palazzo Ducale or the Palazzo Gonzaga, consists of a series of buildings dating to different periods, which were joine togehter in the course of the 13th to 17th centuries. The complex includes 15 enclosed open spaces and over 500 rooms, many not open to the public. Some of the wings are semi-abandoned or in restoration.
Palazzo della Ragione, also known as Palazzo Nuovo, was built in 1250 after the adjacent Palazzo del Podesta to which it is connected by a passageway. Its present look is the result of modifications carried out by Luca Fancelli, who oriented the front of the building towards Piazza del Mercato. The palace was seat of the administration of justice in Gonzaga times.
Leon Battista Alberti died in 1472 and problems set in immediately, first regarding the foundations, then in relation to the restraints set by the neighboring buildings and finally lack of money.
The superintendent of works became Luca Fancelli who transformated the original nucleus, of which the bell tower erected in 1413 is still standing. Later on, at the end of the 16th century, Antonio Maria Viani added the crypt but the whole building was finally finished in 1782 by the architect Filippo Juvarra.
The three hundred years that lapsed between the original design and the final realization, make it impossible to know what Alberti's original model looked like.
The building which now houses the Accademia Nazionale Virgiliana was built for the empress Maria Theresa of Hapsburg.
The structure of the building is an outstanding example of the new idioms of Milanese Neoclassicism introduced into Mantova by architect Giuseppe Piermarini.
The "Appartamento della Grotta" (Apartment of the Grotto) stands at the far end of Palazzo Te & contrasts with the spectacular Giants' Hall.
Visitors often overlook this "secret garden" (we almost did). With its flowerbeds, elegant loggia, and faded frescos, it is well worth a visit. The vault of the loggia is richly decorated with mysterious scenes, which are probably an allegory of life.
It was built between 1528 and 1530. Entrance is through an octagonal vestibule which is decorated with grotesques. Then comes the square with its series of allegorical pictures which allude to the evil virtues of the Gonzaga Family.
In the center of the ceiling is Fame, the Four Cardinal Virtues, and finally scenes from ancient history. Finally we see a small rectangular secret garden, orginally frescoed with perspective views to make it appear larger.
These have practically vanished now; however a series of niches still remain on three sides. At the back of all this was the grotto, which was originallly encrusted with mosaics and shells as well as sculpture and water plays. Very little remains today.