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Gaetano Donizetti
Santa Maria Maggiore
Città alta

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Bergamo - Santa Maria Maggiore

Bergamo - Santa Maria Maggiore
Bergamo was the settlement of a Celtic tribe but got conquered by the Romans in 196 BC. Looted by Attila´s troops in the 5th century, it became the capital of a Lombardian duchy a century later. After the conquest of the Lombard Kingdom by Charlemagne, the Franks ruled here.

End of the 11th century Bergamo had become an independent commune, with a lot of feuding between the local the Guelph and Ghibelline factions.

In 1428 Bergamo was ceded in 1428 by the Duchy of Milan to the Republic of Venice and was transformed into a fortified city, protecting the trade routes leading into the Rhine Valley.

The French Revolutionary Army ended more than three centuries of Venetian rule in 1797. Bergamo was part of the "Cisalpine Republic".
At Congress of Vienna, Bergamo was assigned to the (Austrian) Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia. Giuseppe Garibaldi conquered Bergamo in 1859. The city was incorporated into the newly founded Kingdom of Italy.

Bergamo´s two centres are the Città alta ("upper city"), a hilltop medieval town, and the Città bassa ("lower city").

Next to the Duomo di Bergamo, opening to the Piazza Duomo, is the "Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore".

The church was founded in 1137 on the site of aan older church and the altar was consecrated in 1185, but during the 13th and 15th century the works slowed down and the Romanesque church never got completed.

The interior of Santa Maria Maggiore has been radically changed, compared to the original Romanesque structure, by decorations in stucco and marble from the 17th century.

The Cappella Colleoni, added to the basilica between 1472 and 1476 hosts the tombs of Bartolomeo Colleoni and his daughter Medea. But there are more tombs.

The sepulchre of Gaetano Donizetti, who was born in Bergamo in 1797. Gaetano Donizetti, who composed about 70 operas, was a leading composer during the first half of the 19th century.


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