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.

source: UNESCO/ERI

文艺复兴城市费拉拉城以及波河三角洲

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。

source: UNESCO/ERI

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.

source: UNESCO/ERI

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.

source: UNESCO/ERI

フェッラーラ:ルネサンス期の市街とポー川デルタ地帯
イタリア北部のエミーリア・ロマーニャ州の都市。ポー川下流に14世紀頃からエステ家の所領として発展し、フィレンツェが衰えた15~16世紀の後期ルネサンス期には文学・芸術の中心地として発展した。ピエロ・デラ・フランチェスカ、ヤコポ・ベッリーニ、マンテーニャが装飾したカサ・デ・エステなどがある。

source: NFUAJ

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.

Source: unesco.nl

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Ferrara, City of the Renaissance, and its Po Delta (Italy) © OUR PLACE The World Heritage Collection
Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

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. 

Integrity

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. 

Authenticity

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.

Notes
  • At the time the property was extended, criteria (iii) and (v) were also found applicable.