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Massa (mäsˈä) [key], city (1991 pop. 66,737), capital of Massa-Carrara prov., Tuscany, N central Italy, near the Ligurian Sea. Marble is quarried, and chemicals, metals, and machinery are produced there. From the 15th to the 19th cent. Massa was the capital of the independent principality, later duchy, of Massa and Carrara, which was ruled by the Malaspina and the Cybo-Malaspina families. In 1829 the city passed through marriage to the house of Austria-Este, dukes of Modena. It united with the kingdom of Sardinia in 1859. The old town centers around the 15th-century Malaspina castle; in the new section are the Cybo-Malaspina Palace, a 15th-century cathedral, and a fine marble fountain.

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

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Italian Political Geography

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