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unesco world heritage site Modena unesco world heritage site
Modena lies on the Pianura Padana, and is bounded by the two rivers Secchia and Panaro, both affluents of the Po River. Their presence is symbolized by the Two Rivers Fountain in the city's center, by Giuseppe Graziosi. The city is connected to the Panaro by the Naviglio channel.

Main monuments

Ducal palace
Ducal palace Modena Emilia Romagna tourism

The Ducal Palace, begun by Francis I in 1634 from the designs of Bartolomeo Avanzini, and finished by Francis Ferdinand V, was the sear of the Este court from the 17th to the 19th century. The palace occupies the site of the former Este Castle, once located in the pheripherical area of the city. Although generally credited to Avanzini, it has been suggested that Pietro da Cortona, Gian Lorenzo Bernini e Francesco Borromini participated to the design process. The Palace houses the Accademia Militare di Modena, the Military Museum and a precious Library. The Palace has a Baroque fa├žade from which the Honour Court, where the military ceremonies are held, and the Honour Staircase can be accessed. The Central Hall has a frescoed ceiling with the 17th century Incoronation of Bradamante by Marco Antonio Franceschini. The Salottino d'Oro' ("Golden Hall"), covered with gilted removable panels, was used by Duke Francis III as his main cabinet of work.

St. Peter
St. Peter Modena Emilia Romagna tourism

St. Peter was erected, according the tradition, over the temple of Jupiter Capitulinus. The current edifice is from 1476, built next to a Benedictine abbey founded in 996 oustide the city walls, and is one of the few Renaissance architecture in Modena. The interior has a precious 15th century organ and numerous terracotta works by Begarelli. The campanile is from 1629.

 
unesco world heritage site Cathedral
Cathedral Modena Emilia Romagna tourism

The Cathedral of Modena and the annexed campanile are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Begun under the direction of the Countess Matilda of Tuscany with its first stone laid June 6, 1099 and its crypt ready for the city's patron, Saint Geminianus, and consecrated only six years later, the Duomo of Modena was finished in 1184. The building of a great cathedral in this flood-prone ravaged former center of Arianism was an act of urban renewal in itself, and an expression of the flood of piety that motivated the contemporary First Crusade. Unusually, the master builder's name, Lanfranco, was celebrated in his own day: the city's chronicler expressed the popular confidence in the master-mason from Como, Lanfranco: by God's mercy the man was found (inventus est vir). The sculptor Wiligelmus who directed the mason's yard was praised in the plaque that commemorated the founding. The program of the sculpture is not lost in a welter of detail: the wild dangerous universe of the exterior is mediated by the Biblical figures of the portals leading to the Christian world of the interior. In Wiligelmus' sculpure at Modena, the human body takes on a renewed physicality it had lost in the schematic symbolic figures of previous centuries. At the east end, triple apses express the articulation into nave and wide aisles in bold and clear masses. Modena's Duomo inspired campaigns of cathedral and abbey building in emulation through the valley of the Po.

unesco world heritage site La Ghirlandina
Ghirlandina Modena Emilia Romagna tourism

The Gothic campanile (1224-1319) is called Torre della Ghirlandina from the bronze garland surrounding the weathercock.