1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Pavia
PAVIA (anc. Ticinum, q.v.), a town of Lombardy, Italy, capital of the province of Pavia, situated on the Ticino about 2 m. above its junction with the Po, 221 m. S. of Milan by rail, 253 ft. above sea-level. Pop. (1906), 28,796 (town), 36,424 (commune). On the right bank of the river lies the small suburb of Borgo Titino, connected with the town by a remarkable covered bridge dating from 1351–1354. In 1872 the city ceased to be a fortress, and the bastions have been transformed into boulevards and public gardens. The church of San Michele Maggiore is one of the finest specimens of the Lombard style in existence, and as it was within its walls that the crown was placed on the head of those “kings of Italy” from whom the house of Savoy claims descent it was by royal decree of 1863 given the title of Basilica Reale. S. Michele (for plan see Architecture: § Romanesque and Gothic in Italy) was originally, constructed under the Lombard kings, but was burnt in 1004, and the present building dates from the latter part of the nth (crypt, choir and transepts) and the first half of the 12th centuries (facade and nave with two aisles), and was completed in 1155. The lower part of the facade is adorned with three fine portals and with reliefs of a fantastic kind in sandstone, arranged in horizontal bands, and has arcading under the gable. The dome is octagonal. The interior is vaulted and has eight pillars, supporting double round arches. The interior has a mosaic pavement of the 12th–13th centuries. The cathedral church of San Martino is a Renaissance building begun in 1488 by Cristoforo Rocchi; it is a vast “central” structure, finely designed, with four arms, which remained for centuries unfinished until the dome (only surpassed by those of St Peter at Rome and the cathedral at Florence) and facade were completed in 1898 according to Rocchi’s still extant model; adjoining the church is the massive Torre Maggiore, 258 ft. high, which is mentioned as early as 1330. The upper part is due to Pellegrino Tibaldi (1583). The cathedral contains the tomb of S. Syrus, first bishop of Pavia (2nd century); an altar-piece (1521), the best work of Giampietino (Rizzi), a pupil of Leonardo da Vinci; and another, the masterpiece of Bernardino Gatti of Parma (1531). The church of S. Pietro in Ciel d’Oro, the origin of which dates from the beginning of the 6th (?) century, but which as it stands was consecrated in 1132, is very similar to S. Michele in respect of its façade (though it has not the elaborate sculptures), dome and mosaic pavements. The use of disks of majolica may be noted in the decoration of the exterior. It has been carefully restored. It served as the burial place of the Lombard king Liutprand (711–744), whose bones were found there in 1896 (R. Majocchi in Nuovo bulletino d’archeologia cristiana, 1896, p. 139) . The Area di S. Agostino (after 1362) is a sumptuous tomb containing the relics of S. Augustine of Hippo brought hither by Liutprand from Sardinia. It was only restored to this, its original position, from the cathedral when the church itself was restored.
The church of S. Maria del Carmine is externally one of the most beautiful of the brick Gothic churches in northern Italy and dates from 1273 (or 1323?). S. Francesco has also a good façade after that of Chiaravalle near Milan. The church of S. Maria di Canepanova with its small dome was designed by Bramante. Near it are three tall, slender brick towers of the Gothic period. S. Teodoro with a 12th-century exterior has frescoes by Bartolommeo Suardi (Bramantino) after 1507. Outside the town on the west lie the churches of S. Salvatore (founded in the 7th century but rebuilt in the 15th and 16th), and of S. Lanfranc (or the Holy Sepulchre, 12th century) with the fine tomb of Bishop Lanfranco Beccari (d. 1189) by Giovanni Antonio Amedeo (1498), one of the best Lombard sculptors and architects of this period (1447–1522) and a native of Pavia, which has a few other works by him. He was for eighteen years in charge of the work at the Certosa. Interesting medieval views of Pavia exist in the churches of S. Teodoro and S. Salvatore; the former dating from 1522 has been published by P. Moiraghi in Bullettino storico pavese (1893), i. 41 sqq. (See Magenta, I Visconti e gli Sforza nel caslello di Pavia (Milan, 1884), for other medieval plans.)
Of the secular buildings the most noteworthy is the university founded by Galeazzo II. in 1361 on the site of a law school probably founded by Lanfranc (d. 1089), though we find Pavia a centre of study as early as A.D. 825. The present imposing building was begun by Lodovico il Moro in 1490; in the library are preserved some of the ashes of Columbus, who was a student here. Volta made here his first electrical experiments. For the maintenance of a number of poor students there are two subsidiary colleges, the Borromeo and the Ghislieri founded by S. Carlo Borromeo (1563) and Pope Pius V. (1569); of the latter a colossal bronze statue has been erected in the piazza before his college. The university of Pavia has long been famous as a medical school, and has the oldest anatomical cabinet in Italy; in addition it has a natural history museum founded under Spallanzini in 1772, a botanical garden, begun in 1774, and excellent geological, palaeontological and mineralogical collections. The old castle of the Visconti built in 1360 for Galeazzo II. is used as barracks. The Museo Civico is housed in the Palazzo Malaspina and contains many interesting national relics and a small picture gallery, with a large collection of offprints on paper from niello plates, including a very fine “Fountain of Love’ by Antonio Pollainolo; another fine old palace, the Palazzo Mezzabarba, is now used as the Municipio.
Pavia has a number of iron-foundries, military engineering and electrical production works, and other factories, as well as a large covered market, built in 1882. Pavia lies on the main line from Milan to Genoa (which crosses the Ticino by a bridge half a mile long, and shortly afterwards the Po), with several branch lines. Barges from Pavia can pass down the Po to the Adriatic or to Milan by canal. Five miles north of Pavia is the Carthusian monastery of Certosa di Pavia, one of the most magnificent in the world. Its founder Gian Galeazzo Visconti (also the founder of Milan Cathedral) laid the first stone in August 1396, and the nave was then begun in the Gothic style, but was not completed until 1465. However the influence of the Early Renaissance had meanwhile become supreme throughout Italy, and the rest of the church with its external arcaded galleries and lofty pinnacles (including the fine dome) and the cloisters were executed in the new style under Guiniforte Solari (1453–1481) with details in terra-cotta of great beauty and richness. Giovanni Antonio Amedeo was chief architect in 1481–1499, and the lower part of the façade was finished in 1507. It is perhaps the finest piece of elaborate and richly adorned Renaissance architecture in existence, and is the work of a number of different artists. In the south transept of the church is the tomb of the founder; the figure of Galeazzo guarded by angels lies under a marble canopy, with the Madonna in a niche above. It was begun in 1494–1497 by Giovanni Cristoforo Romano and Benedetto Briosco, but was not finished until 1562. In the north transept is the tomb of Lodovico Sforza, il Moro, and his wife, the figures on which were brought from S. Maria della Grazie in 1564 when the monument of the prince in that church was broken up and sold; these statues are considered to be one of the chief works of Cristoforo Solari. The church contains numerous other works of art. An elegant portal leads from the church into the small cloister, which has a pretty garden in the centre; the terra-cotta ornaments surmounting the slender marble pillars are the work of Rinaldo de Stauris (1463–1478), who executed similar decorations in the great cloister. This cloister is 412 ft. long by 334 ft. wide and contains 24 cells of the monks, pleasant little three-roomed houses each with its own garden. Within the confines of the monastery is the Palazzo Ducale which since 1901 has been occupied by the Certosa museum. The Carthusian monks, to whom the monastery was entrusted by the founder, were bound to employ a certain proportion of their annual revenue in prosecuting the work till its completion, and even after 1542 the monks continued voluntarily to expend large sums on further decoration. The Certosa di Pavia is thus a practical textbook of Italian art for wellnigh three centuries. The Carthusians were expelled in 1782 by the emperor Joseph II., and after being held by the Cistercians in 1784 and the Carmehtes in 1789 the monastery was closed in 1810. In 1843 the Certosa was restored to the Carthusians and was exempted from confiscation in 1866, but it has since been declared a national monument.
History.—For earlier period see Ticinum. Under the name Papia (Pavia) the city became, as the capital of the Lombard kingdom, one of the leading cities of Italy. By the conquest of Pavia and the capture of Desiderius in 774 Charlemagne completely destroyed the Lombard supremacy; but the city continued to be the centre of the Carolingian power in Italy, and a royal residence was built in the neighbourhood (Corteolona on the Olona). It was in San Michele Maggiore in Pavia that Berengar of Friuli, and his quasi-regal successors down to Berengar II. and Adalbert II., were crowned “kings of Italy.” Under the reign of the first the city was sacked and burned by the Hungarians, and the bishop was among those who perished. At Pavia was celebrated in 951 the marriage of Otto I. and Adelheid (Adelaide), which exercised so important an influence on the relations of the empire and Italy; but, when the succession to the crown of Italy came to be disputed between the emperor Henry II. and Arduin of Ivrea, the city sided strongly with the latter. Laid in ruins by Henry, who was attacked by the citizens on the night after his coronation in 1004, it was none the less ready to close its gates on Conrad the Salic in 1026. In the 11th and 12th centuries we find Pavia called the “Second Rome.” The jealousy between Pavia and Milan having in 1056 broken out into open war, Pavia had recourse to the hated emperors, though she seems to have taken no part in the battle of Legnano; and for the most part she remained attached to the Ghibelline party till the latter part of the 14th century. From 1360, when Galeazzo was appointed imperial vicar by Charles IV., Pavia became practically a possession of the Visconti family and in due course formed part of the duchy of Milan. For its insurrection against the French garrison in 1409 it paid a terrible penalty in 1500, and in 1312, after the victory of Ravenna, Pavia presented to Louis XII., as a sign of fidelity, a magnificent standard: this however fell into the hands of Swiss mercenaries and was sent to Fribourg as a trophy of war (it no longer exists). Having been strongly fortified by Charles V., the city was in 1525 able to bid defiance to Francis I., who was so disastrously beaten in the vicinity, but two years later the French under Lautrec subjected it to a sack of seven days. In 1655 Prince Thomas of Savoy invested Pavia with an army of 20,000 Frenchmen, but had to withdraw after 52 days siege. The Austrians under Prince Eugene occupied it in 1706, the French in 1733 and the French and Spaniards in 1743; and the Austrians were again in possession from 1746 till 1796. In May of that year it was seized by Napoleon, who, to punish it for an insurrection, condemned it to three days’ pillage. In 1814 it became Austrian once more. The revolutionary movement of February 1848 was crushed by the Austrians and the university was closed; and, though the Sardinian forces obtained possession in March, the Austrians soon recovered their ground. It was not till 1859 that Pavia passed with the rest of Lombardy to the Sardinian crown.
At several periods Pavia has been the centre of great intellectual activity. It was according to tradition in a tower which, previous to 1584, stood near the church of the Annunziata that Boethius wrote his De consolatione philosophiae; the legal school of Pavia was rendered celebrated in the 11th century by Lanfranc (afterwards archbishop of Canterbury); Petrarch was frequently here as the guest of Galeazzo II., and his grandson died and was buried here. Columbus studied at the university about 1447; and printing was introduced in 1471. Two of the bishops of Pavia were raised to the papal throne as John XIV. and Julius III. Lanfranc, Pope John XIV., Porta the anatomist and Cremona the mathematician were born in the city.
See C. Dell’ Acqua, Guida illustrata di Pavia (Pavia, 1900), and refs. there given; L. Beltrami, La Chartreuse de Pavie (Milan, 1899); Storia documentata della Certosa di Pavia (Milan, 1896). (T. As.)