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Perugia

Perugia (pārōˈjä) [key], city (1991 pop. 144,732), capital of Umbria and of Perugia prov., central Italy, situated on a hill overlooking the valley of the Tiber River. It is a commercial, industrial, and tourist center. Manufactures include chocolate, textiles, pharmaceuticals, and machinery. Perugia was inhabited by the Umbrians and the Etruscans before it came under the control of Rome (c.310 B.C.). It became a Lombard duchy in the late 6th cent. A.D. In the 12th cent. it attained the status of a free commune and gradually gained hegemony over other Umbrian cities. Although nominally under papal control, it was in fact ruled by strong tyrants until 1540, when it was conquered by Pope Paul III. To help control the city Pope Paul built an imposing citadel (designed by Antonio da San Gallo and dismantled in 1860). Perugia was the artistic center of Umbria. The Umbrian school of painting (13th–16th cent.) reached its greatest splendor with Perugino (1445–1523), the teacher of Raphael, and with Pinturicchio (1454–1518). Points of interest in the city include the imposing Palazzo dei Priori (13th–15th cent.), which houses the National Gallery of Umbria; the marble Great Fountain (13th cent.), with sculptures by Nicolò Pisano and his son Giovanni; the Collegio del Cambio [exchange hall], with fine frescoes by Perugino and his followers; the Gothic cathedral (14th–15th cent., with later baroque additions); a large Etruscan arch (with Roman and 16th-century additions); the Church of San Pietro; the Gothic Church of San Domenico, which houses an archaeological museum; the Renaissance-style Oratory of San Bernardino; and well-preserved medieval quarters. Perugia is the seat of a university founded in 1308. Nearby is an Etruscan cemetery comprising ten chambers carved out of rock.

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

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