Home >> Encyclopedia Americana, Volume 8 >> County to Crome >> Cremona


school, italy, milan and city

CREMONA, Icra-meina, Italy, city and capital of province of same name, on a plain on the left bank of the Po, 47 miles south of Milan. It is surrounded by walls and wet ditches, and defended by a citadel. It has broad but irregular streets and attractive public squares, and a bridge 3,100 feet long over the Po. The most remarkable edifice is the cathe dral, begun in 1107 and completed about 1491. It exhibits little harmony of parts, but has a venerable and imposing appearance, and its in terior decorations are of the most costly de scription. Others of its 44 (formerly 87) churches are the richly decorated 16th century San Pietro al Poi San Agostino e Giacomo in Braida, with paintings by Perugino; Sant' Agata; Santa Marghenta. Also noteworthy are the city hall, and the 13th century Palazzo de' n Gonfalonie, and the Palazzo Reale, with natural history and other collections. Close by, and connected with the cathedral, is the Tor azzo, a Gothic clock tower, 397 feet high, built of brick and having 490 steps to the bell-story. Cremona has a seminary, a lyceum, a nasium, a school of industrial art, a school voice culture, a technical school, two theatres, a library of 100,000 volumes and a chamber of commerce. The town markets grain, flax, cheese, etc., p.nd manufactures linen, wool, ma chinery, silk, earthenware, colors and mustard, the latter of which is much esteemed in Italy.

It was at one time celebrated for its violins. Their manufacture was almost wholly confined, for nearly 100 years, to a family of the name of Amati. Antonius Stradivarius and Joseph Guarnerius were also celebrated violin-makers of Cremona. A memorial tablet marks the house where Stradivarius made his violins. Cremona was also famous for its painters, Boccaccio, the founder of the Cremona School, Melone, Bembo, the three Campis and Sofo nisba d'Angussola, whose five sisters also prac tised the art.

Cremona was colonized by the Romans 219 B.C. and again 190 'Lc., and became a populous and flourishing town. In the war between Vi tellius and Vespasian it was plundered and burned by the troops of the latter, but was sub sequently rebuilt by Vespasian. After the fall of the empire it eventually fell under the do minion of the Visconti of Milan. In 1796 it was taken possession of by the French, and was included in the Cis-Alpine Republic, and afterward, from 1800 to 1814, in the kingdom of Italy under Napoleon. Consult Robaloth, 'Cremona e sua provincia' (Milan 1859); 'Gulls di Cremona' (Cremona 1904). Pop.