1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Carrara (town)

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CARRARA, a town of Tuscany, Italy, in the province of Massa e Carrara, 390 ft. above sea-level, 3 m. by rail N.N.E. of Avenza, which is 16 m. E.S.E. of Spezia. Pop. (1881) 26,325; (1905) town, 38,100; commune, 48,493. The cathedral (1272–1385) is a fine Gothic building dating from the period of Pisan supremacy; the other churches, and indeed all the principal buildings of the town, are constructed of the local marble, to which the place owes its importance. The Accademia di Belle Arti contains several Roman antiquities found in the quarries, and some modern works by local sculptors. A large theatre was inaugurated in 1892. Some of the quarries were worked in Roman times (see Luna), but were abandoned after the downfall of the western empire, until the growth of Pisan architecture and sculpture in the 12th and 13th centuries created a demand for it. The quarries now extend over almost the whole of the Apuan Alps, and some 600 of them are being worked, of which 345, with 4400 workmen, are at Carrara itself, and 50 (700 men) at Massa. The amount exported in 1899 was 180,000 tons. The quarries are served by a separate railway, with several branch lines.