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Mantua

Mantua (mănˈchōə, –tōə) [key], 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 Gonzaga 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.).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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