Pavia, Province of Pavia, Lombardy
Provinces of Lombardy
- Altitude: 77 m a.s.l
- Population: about 71,000 inhabitants in 2011
- Zip/postal code: 27100
- Dialing Area Code: +39 0382
- Patron Saint: San Siro, celebrated on 9 December and Sant'Agostino, celebrated on 28 August
- Frazioni & Localities: Albertario, Ca' della Terra, Cantone Tre Miglia, Cassinino, Cittadella, Fossarmato, Mirabello, Montebellino, Pantaleona, Prado, Villalunga
History - Antiquity and the Middle Ages
After the Lombard conquest, Pavia became the capital of their kingdom; but after Charlemagne won the battle of Pavia (773), the city became the capital of his Regnum Italicum, a vassal kingdom of the Holy Roman Empire, until the 12th century.
In the 12th century Pavia acquired the status of a self-governing commune. In the political division between Guelphs and Ghibellines, Pavia was traditionally Ghibelline. In the following centuries Pavia was an important and active town, resisting the domination of Milan, finally yielding to the Visconti family, rulers of Milan in 1359; under the Viscontis Pavia became an intellectual and artistic centre, being the seat from 1361 of the University founded around the nucleus of the old school of law, which attracted students from many countries.
History - Modern Times
The defeat and capture of king Francis I of France during the battle gave way to the Spanish occupation which lasted until 1713. Pavia was then ruled by the Austrians until 1796, when it was occupied by the French army under Napoleon. In 1815, it again passed under Austrian administration until the Second War of Independence (1859) and the unification of Italy one year later.
What to see
- The Certosa, or Carthusian monastery, Pavia's most famous monument, founded in 1396
- The 12th-century Romanesque St. Peter's Church (where Saint Augustine is buried).
- The large fortified Castello Visconteo (14th-15th centuries)