Ferrara, City of the Renaissance, and its Po Delta
Ferrara, City of the Renaissance, and its Po Delta
Ferrara, which grew up around a ford over the River Po, became an intellectual and artistic centre that attracted the greatest minds of the Italian Renaissance in the 15th and 16th centuries. Here, Piero della Francesca, Jacopo Bellini and Andrea Mantegna decorated the palaces of the House of Este. The humanist concept of the 'ideal city' came to life here in the neighbourhoods built from 1492 onwards by Biagio Rossetti according to the new principles of perspective. The completion of this project marked the birth of modern town planning and influenced its subsequent development.
Ferrare, ville de la Renaissance, et son delta du Pô
Née autour d'un gué sur le Pô, Ferrare devint, aux XVe et XVIe siècles, un foyer intellectuel et artistique attirant les plus grands artistes et esprits de la Renaissance italienne. Piero della Francesca, Jacopo Bellini et Andrea Mantegna décorèrent les palais de la maison d'Este. Les conceptions humanistes de la ville idéale prirent corps ici dans les quartiers bâtis, à partir de 1492, par Biagio Rossetti selon les nouveaux principes de la perspective. Cette réalisation marqua la naissance de l'urbanisme moderne et son évolution ultérieure.
فيرّارا، مدينة النهضة، ودِلتا نهر البو فيها
نشأت فيرّارا حول معبر على نهر البو وأصبحت في القرنين الخامس عشر والسادس عشر معقلاً فكريًا وفنّيًا يجذب أكبر الفنانين والقيمين على النهضة الإيطالية. فـبييرو دِلاّ فرنشيسكا وجاكوبو بيلّيني وأندريا مانتينيا زيّنوا قصور لا ميزون ديستي. فالتصاميم الأنسانيّة للمدينة المثالية تجسّدت هنا في الأحياء المبنية منذ العام 1492 على يد بياجيو روسّيتّي حسب المبادئ الجديدة للرسم المنظوري. وقد طبع هذا الإنجاز نشوء التنظيم المُدني العصري وتطوره اللاحق.
费拉拉是从波河浅滩上建立起来的，并逐渐成为意大利文化艺术中心。15、16世纪时它吸引了大批文艺复兴的才子巨匠。在这座城市里，皮耶罗·德拉·弗兰切斯卡(Piero della Francesca)、雅各布·贝利尼(Jacopo Bellini) 和曼泰尼亚 (Andrea Mantegna) 装饰了埃斯泰王朝的宫殿。人本主义观念下的“理想城市”也在这里成为现实：从1492年起，比亚焦·罗塞蒂(Biagio Rossetti) 根据远景规划的新原则在埃斯泰王朝的宫殿周围建造起了“理想城市”。这个规划的完成标志着现代化都市设计的诞生，并影响了其以后城市建筑的发展。
Город эпохи Возрождения Феррара и дельта реки По
Феррара, которая сложилась в месте переправы через реку По, стала интеллектуальным и художественным центром, привлекавшим в XV-XVI вв. лучшие умы итальянского Возрождения. Работы Пьеро делла Франческа, Якопо Беллини и Андреа Мантенья украсили дворцы династии д’Эстэ. Гуманистическая концепция «идеального города» воплотилась в жизнь в кварталах, застройку которых, начиная с 1492 г., вел Бьяджо Россетти на основе новых принципов построения перспективы. Завершение этого проекта ознаменовало рождение современного градостроительства и повлияло на его последующее развитие.
Ferrara, ciudad renacentista, y su delta del Po
Nacida junto a un vado del río Po, la ciudad de Ferrara llegó a ser en los siglos XV y XVI un importante foco de las artes y la vida intelectual, que atrajo a los más preclaros artistas e ingenios del Renacimiento italiano. Piero della Francesca, Jacopo Bellini y Andrea Mantegna decoraron los palacios de la familia gobernante de los Este. Fue en Ferrara donde se materializó la visión humanista de la ciudad ideal con los barrios construidos a partir de 1492 por Biagio Rossetti, que aplicó los nuevos principios de la perspectiva. La obra de Rosetti fue el punto de partida del urbanismo moderno y dejaría una honda impronta en su evolución posterior.
Ferrara, stad van de Renaissance en de Po delta
Ferrara is ontstaan rondom een doorwaadbare plaats van de rivier de Po. Het werd een intellectueel en artistiek centrum, dat de sleutelfiguren van de Italiaanse Renaissance aantrok gedurende de 15e en 16e eeuw. In de stad liggen de paleizen van het Huis van Este, gedecoreerd door Piero della Francesca, Jacopo Bellini en Andrea Mantegna. Het humanistische concept van de 'ideale stad' kwam hier tot leven in de wijken die vanaf 1492 werden gebouwd door Biagio Rossetti volgens de nieuwe principes van perspectief. De voltooiing van dit project markeerde de geboorte van de moderne stedenbouw en beïnvloedde de latere ontwikkeling ervan.
Outstanding Universal Value
Ferrara, City of the Renaissance, and its Po Delta, situated within the Emilia Romagna region of Italy, is a remarkable cultural landscape. The area comprises the urban centre of Ferrara and adjoining agricultural lands within the ancient and vast Po River Delta.
The inscribed property extends to the ring of defensive walls that first enclosed the historic urban centre of Ferrara in the 12th century. Over time, the encircling walls of the medieval town were extended to accommodate urban growth, and today the walls encircle the medieval city, the Cathedral of San Giorgio and the Estense Castle. A series of urban planning schemes were implemented from the 14th to 16th centuries, which made Ferrara the first Renaissance city to be developed using a complex urban plan. In this plan, the network of streets and walls were closely linked with the palaces, churches and gardens as part of an overall scheme that gave precedence to the harmonious layout of urban perspectives, rather than accentuating the beauty of individual buildings. The best known of these schemes, the Addizione Erculea designed by Biagio Rossetti at the end of the 15th century, was one of the first urban plans based on the idea of perspective – that is, balancing humanist principles relating to form and volume in architecture with open space, the needs of the city, and local traditions.
The Po Delta of the Po River valley has been settled for millennia. From the 14th to the 16th centuries, the ruling Este family carried out extensive land reclamation and building projects, which give this area a distinctive character link with Ferrara, seat of the Este family. Transformations made to the countryside surrounding Ferrara during the Renaissance included: drainage of huge swathes of swampland, establishment of castalderie (estates), creation of new waterways and streets as part of the overall urban development plan and construction of a network of noble residences known as the delizie estensi. This work led to a new fabric of agricultural production and the construction of Ducal residences as the political sign of magnificence. These were designed to mirror the image of the Court beyond the urban confines and again formed part of a process of integration and continuity between the city and the surrounding countryside. The original form of the Renaissance landscape of the Po River Delta is still recognisable in the region’s 21st-century layout.
The history of the Renaissance city of Ferrara is closely bound to the Este family and their rule. The city had been an important medieval centre, a free city with its own laws and even its own mint, but only under the Este’s was it to become an internationally known capital with great importance for the arts, economics, ideology and religion. The court flourished in splendour and for two centuries was on a par with cities such as Florence and Venice or with other great European courts in France or Spain.
Artists such as Piero della Francesca, Mantegna and Michelangelo attended the Este Court and worked there. With great support from these artists, the Este family created the first example of a studiolo and their practice of art collection became a model for both the Medici family and the Pope.
Criterion (ii): Developments in town planning expressed in Renaissance Ferrara had a profound influence on town design practice and planned preservation throughout the succeeding centuries. The Ferrarese architectural school (Biagio Rosetti, Girolamo da Carpi, Giambattista Aleotti, etc.) exported urban design views and elements such as walls and fortresses into the planning of other Italian and European cities.
Criterion (iii): The Este ducal residences in the Po Delta illustrate the influence of Renaissance culture on the natural landscape in an exceptional manner.
Criterion (iv): The historical town of Ferrara is an exceptional example of Renaissance period urban planning in which the layout and built forms from this period are still visible and where the urban fabric is virtually intact.
Criterion (v): The Po Delta is an outstanding planned cultural landscape that retains its original form to a remarkable extent.
Criterion (vi): During the two seminal centuries of the Renaissance, the brilliant court of the Este family attracted leading artists, poets and philosophers and became a major centre for the development and practical application of ‘new humanism’ in Italy.
The 46,712 ha inscribed property, along with the 117,649 ha buffer zone, encompasses all the elements necessary to understand the Renaissance cultural landscape of Ferrara and its Po Delta, which substantiates its Outstanding Universal Value. The intactness of the property is evidenced in the Renaissance period layout of the city of Ferrara as well as in the landscape changes and transformations of the surrounding agricultural landscape. The wholeness of Renaissance Ferrara is visible in the medieval walls, the forms of the 14th to 16th century town planning schemes, the surviving and largely original buildings and in the well preserved layout of the city that is easily understood by visitors. The wider landscape of the World Heritage property is most evident in the remaining delizie that point to the land transformation schemes undertaken during the time of the ruling Este family.
Thus the Renaissance cultural landscape of Ferrara and the Po Delta forms a historical whole. However, changing methods of cultivation and economic priorities, as well as the introduction of new infrastructure are concerns that will need to be holistically addressed in order to maintain the conditions of integrity.
Ferrara, City of the Renaissance, and its Po Delta is a cultural landscape that is exceptionally well preserved and is authentic in its form and design, materials, setting, spirit, and feeling. The originality of the urban fabric of Ferrara, along with its Renaissance design and layout elements, makes it a clearly recognisable Renaissance city. Some of the delizie are authentic in relation to original large farm settings and are in excellent condition following restoration works carried out since 1970. The relationships of Renaissance elements with branches of the Po River (Po di Ferrara, Primaro, Volàno, Sandalo) are readily recognisable and the ancient course of these rivers and streams are clearly visible today. Despite a long history of damage to the property, it retains a truthfulness and credibility with regard to its expression of Outstanding Universal Value.
Protection and management requirements
The protection and management of Ferrara, City of the Renaissance and its Po Delta requires the cooperation of public institutions at different levels of government: national, regional, provincial and municipal.
The property is protected under national cultural heritage legislation: the "Codice dei Beni Culturali e del Paesaggio" (Legislative Decree 42/2004). Local offices of the "Ministero per i Beni e le Attività culturali" (Regional Management and Supervision) undertake monitoring to ensure compliance with the national legislation.
At the regional level, there are three specific planning systems. The Regional Landscape Plan (PTPR) establishes regulations with regard to the historical-cultural identity of locations and the surrounding landscape. The Po Delta Park Plan’s aim is to protect the areas of natural importance. The Provincial Territorial Plan (PTCP) identifies the synergies and actions needed to develop traditional economic activities and tourism in a manner that protects the character of the environment and the countryside. The plan encompasses the large area that makes up both the inscribed property area and its buffer zone.
In addition, the Municipality of Ferrara has an approved Urban Planning Tool that identifies the whole of the historic city inside the walls as an area of cultural interest and consolidates the high degree of protection that has been in place since 1975. There are several programmes with specific aims that deal with conserving the Renaissance walls and open spaces inside and outside the city walls.
The management of the property is coordinated through a multi-level government Site Steering Committee. The Committee is responsible for preparing and implementing the annual Management Plan. A key aim of the Management Plan is to increase public awareness, particularly of local residents and workers, with regard to the extent of the property and its outstanding importance.
Sustaining the Outstanding Universal Value of the property and maintaining its conditions of authenticity and integrity over time will require the creation of improved linkages and coordinated management between the urban landscape of Ferrara and the rural landscape of the network of delizie, the improvement of the regional regulatory regime to effective control use and transformation of the area and infrastructure development, the increase of local awareness of the heritage values of the properties and opportunities to enjoy the area’s heritage and the definition of clear policies for the adaptive reuse of historic properties that have been abandoned or damaged. Also, sufficient resources for interventions will need to be allocated to address the considerable damages from the May 2012 earthquakes, particularly to the city walls, the Estense Castle, the medieval cathedral, the Rocca (bastion) of Stellata and to several historic buildings.
Ferrara is an outstanding planned Renaissance city which has retained its urban fabric virtually intact. The developments in town planning expressed in Ferrara were to have a profound influence on the development of urban design throughout the succeeding centuries. The brilliant Este court attracted a constellation of artists, poets and philosophers during the two seminal centuries of the Renaissance. The Po Delta is an outstanding planned cultural landscape which retains its original form to a remarkable extent.
Among the great Italian cities Ferrara is the only to have an original plan that is not derived from a Roman layout. It did not develop from a central area but rather on a linear axis, along the banks of the Po River, with longitudinal streets and many cross streets around which the medieval city was organized. The most significant characteristic of Ferrara's urban history rests on the fact that it developed from the 14th century onwards and, for the first time in Europe, on the basis of planning regulations that are in use nowadays in all modern towns. This type of development is known as addizione ; the third phase was implemented in 1492, making Ferrara the only planned Renaissance town to have been completed.
The street network and the enclosing walls are closely linked with the palaces, the churches, and the gardens. Throughout the 16th century the city was planned with the aim of making it a future 'capital'. Its evolution came to an end after the 17th century under papal administration, and the city did not undergo any extensions for almost three centuries. The city plan (1492) provided for doubling its area, an expansion limited to the south of the castle. This extension was completed by a new and very up-to-date defensive system made up of elements belonging to the various extensions carried out over several centuries (ramparts, keeps, semicircular towers, bastions, barbicans, etc.). These alterations completely changed the appearance of the city: new streets were created on a grid and buildings in a new style were built.
The most important monument surviving from the medieval period is the San Giorgio Cathedral dating back to the 12th century. The facade is a work of the master builder and sculptor Niccolo who, influenced by Benedetto Antelami, worked in the first half of the 12th century; the construction of the bell tower began in 1451 to a design attributed to Leon Battista Alberti. Standing in front of the cathedral, the 13th-century Palazzo Comunale was the first residence of the Este family and was joined in the late 15th century to the Castello di San Michele or Castello Estense. This massive, four-towered fortress was built in 1385 by the court architect Bartolomeo da Novara after a violent popular revolt. Works were carried out until 1570 with the creation of a noble residence with large halls to receive the court and embellished by frescoes and marble balconies and logge.
The Palazzo Schifanoia, built in 1385, was first remodelled in 1465-67 for Borso d'Este by the architect Piero Benvenuti degli Ordini assisted by the young Biagio Rossetti, who was responsible alone for the work in 1493. The palace has a long brick facade with a marble portal bearing the arms of the Commandery, the work of Ercole de' Roberti. It is, however, the decoration of the halls, and in particular of the Hall of the Months, which best illustrate the humanist culture of Ferrara.
The intersection of the streets coming from the castle (Corso Ercole I) and the main axis of Ercole 1a addizione (Corso Rossetti, Corso Porta Mare) linking two of the city gates is one of the most important elements in the 1492 city plan. This focal point, which links the modern and Renaissance city with the medieval, is underlined by four palaces: Palazzo Prosperi-Sacrati, Palazzo Bevilacqua, Palazzo Turchi-Di Bagno and Palazzo dei Diamanti. The construction of the Palazzo dei Diamanti began in 1492 for Sigismondo d'Este, but was not completed until 1565. The regular rustication over the entire height of the facades gives it a special appearance.Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC
At one time the lands Of Ferrara were crossed by the unstable water network of the Po and its meanders. The bed of the river that traversed the city moved several kilometres away in the 12th century, leaving behind no more than a modest stream, which disappeared In its turn in the 17th century.
Ferrara grew up along the banks of the Po on the Roman road leading to Padua round a ford. When threatened by the Huns, the Bishop of Voghenza moved his episcopal see to the right bank of the river and, to ensure his protection the exarchs of Ravenna built a fort on the opposite bank in the 8th century. A river port grew up on both banks round the fort and the bishop's establishment.
The Pope granted jurisdiction over the city to Tebaldo de Canossa in the 10th century and built the Castel Tebaldo on the left bank, to the west of the Byzantine fort. It spread between these two poles, along a street parallel to the river (the present-day Via delle Volte and via Ripagrande). At the beginning of the 12th century the city was in full growth and the commercial axis moved to the north, along a new highway (present-day Via Garibaldi and Via Mazzini), an ancient defensive line, to which new suburbs became attached.
This bipolar system of development was abandoned in the 12th century in favour of a single centre of which the cathedral was the pivot. The centre of communal power (Palazzo Communale, the Tower of the Lions which preceded the castle, and the quarter inhabited by the ruling class) collected around this monument, which was linked to the river by a network of perpendicular streets. Guglielmo II degli Adelardi organized the defences to the north of the town, an earthen bank protected by a ditch and eighteen towers, whilst to the south the river continued to provide natural protection. The city went on developing along both banks of the river until the House of Este came to power.
This family first came to prominence in the communal government of Ferrara at the end of the 12th century, but another century was to elapse before it became the arbiter of the city's fate. The pope appointed the family to rule the City in 1332, first as a marquisate and then as a duchy, a title retained until 1598. The Este family gave Ferrara a place among the states, both large and small, in Italy.
Niccolo II d'Este succeeded in consolidating the institutions of the domain, making it into a true principality. He gave special attention to matters relating to planning and in 1386 undertook the first of a series of extensions to the city (addizioni), all following the same lines. He enlarged the city by pushing the walls further away to the north. The open area created in this way became a quarter through the construction of a longitudinal axis street with streets opening out of it at right-angles and so linking with the existing street pattern. Niccolo invited his loyal supporters to move into this Quarter, which became centre of the city's elite.
During the difficult period for the Italian states at the beginning of the 15th century Niccolo III d'Este (1393-1441) followed a skillful policy. He received the popes John XXII and Martin v and hosted the Ecumenical Council of 1438. The arrival at the court of the Veronese humanist Guarino Guarini conferred prestige upon Ferrara. He was made responsible for the education of the young Leonello, destined to succeed Niccolo III as Duke (1441-50>. The new impetus that he gave to the university, founded in 1391, attracted many men Of letters and scientists, who gave form to the Renaissance culture of Ferrara.
Borso d'Este (1450-71), Leonello's younger brother, modernized the administrative structure of the state; he was made Duke of Modena and Reggio, and followed in Leonello's footsteps in cultural matters. He repeated Niccolo II's experiment by creating the second addizione on the same lines (1450>, reserving this Quarter in the south-east of the city for merchants.
The long alliance between Ferrara and the Venetian Republic was brought to an end by Ercole I (1433- 1505), who moved closer to France. His wife, Eleanora of Aragon, and their daughters Isabella and Beatrice played an important part in the political life of the Duchy and its relations with Naples and the neighbouring Duchies of Mantua and Milan. In 1492 he began the largest and most famous addizione in Ferrara as protection against venice. The work was carried out by the architect Biagio Rossetti, assisted by Pellegrino Prisciani. Working with Alessandro Biondo he extended the defensive walls on the north of the city, whose area was doubled. In this enormous new area he applied the plan that had already been tried in the earlier addizioni. However, Biagio Rossetti used perspective in defining urban space. The main street, which linked the castle with the villas and parks to the north continued to be a private road for the princely family, along which faithful supporters built their palazzi.
Conflict with Venice continued under Alfonso I (1476-1534), along with a dispute with Pope Julius II, who wanted to govern the Papal States directly. Relations with the Papacy became more complicated under Alfonso II, whose mother, Renee of France, protected persecuted Calvinists. In 1557 he began to introduce the principle of bastions into the city's fortifications. On his death in 1597 the Este family left Ferrara for Modena, and pope Clement VIII took back possession of the City, which became a distant province of the Papal States. The economic situation of the city deteriorated, with the walls being attacked by flooding from time to time and the countryside becoming impoverished. Nevertheless, a pentagonal fortress was built in 1608 to the south-east of the city (it was demolished after 1869).
Attempts to relaunch the economy Of Ferrara in the 18th century by creating a canal to link up with the PO and a new port did not have the effects anticipated. In 1796 the city was occupied by the French, who made it part of the Cisalpine Republic. Ferrara was occupied again by the French in the 19th century, and then by the Austrians. When it became part ofthe Kingdom of Italy in 1859 major reclamation works began on the marshlands, the city's gates were enlarged, and new infrastructure was added (railway, hospitals, etc). Damage during World War II was limited.
In the 15th-16th centuries the Este court was one of the main centres for the development and practical application of the new humanism in Italy. From the end of the reign of Niccolo III (1393-1441) it became an artistic centre where the greatest artists of the day were invited to decorate the palazzi and villa (delizie) of the Este family, both in the city itself and in the neighborhood - artists SUCh as Piero della Francesca (1499), Jacopo Bellini (1441), Mantegna (1449), and Roger van der Weyden (who brought the Flemish technique in 1449). Cosme Tura (1430-95), whose style was developed by Francesco del Cossa and Ercole de' Roberti, founded the Ferrara school of painting.
Ferrara also played host to great humanists such as Pietro Bombo (1470-1547), who dedicated Gli Asolani to Lucrezia Borgia, wife of Alfonso I, and poets such as 80iardo (1441-94), Ariosto (1474-1533), and Tasso (1544-95), the creators of a new form of Italian poetry, the epic and the commedia dell'arte. The poetic dreams of Ariosto were given material form in the development of the concept of the Italian Renaissance garden. The Barco, the hunting reserve Of the Este family to the north of the town, which was divided into several sectors according to function (zoological garden, giardino dei semplici or herb garden, ancestor of the botanical garden), was a model for the Villa d'Este at Tivoli and the Villa Taranto on Lake Maggiore.
The university, founded in 1391, was the scene of important scientific developments. Copernicus (1473) and Paracelsus (1493-1541) were among the famous scientists who studied or taught there.Source: Advisory Body Evaluation
- Preliminary findings of UNESCO mission sent to assess earthquake damage to sites in northern Italy Tuesday, June 12, 2012
- UNESCO mission assesses earthquake damage to sites in northern Italy Thursday, June 7, 2012
- UNESCO monitors damage to heritage in northern Italy following powerful earthquake Tuesday, May 22, 2012
- World Heritage Committee Inscribes 48 New Sites on Heritage List Thursday, December 2, 1999