Perugia (Perugia) - the capital of Umbria (Umbria) - a mountainous region that does not have access to the sea. Italian Sparta, severe and warlike, was Perugia for centuries and this was reflected in its appearance. There are no luxurious mansions and sunlit squares. The rulers of the city, keen on military showdowns, were not up to jewelry.
Narrow streets, stone walls of houses hanging over them, endless arches, steep descents and sharp turns give the city an ominous flavor. But once you go out into the open, Perugia begins to captivate with a wide panorama of mountain valleys and the laconic beauty of palaces and temples. Its sights are the annals of Italian culture, which young people from different countries get to know at the University of Perugia for foreigners (Università per Stranieri di Perugia).
The fortified Etruscan fortress on a 450-meter-high hill was known already in the 4th-3rd centuries BC. Something remains of its powerful fortifications even today.
Surviving to our time Arch of the Etruscan Gate (Arco Etrusco o di Augusto) - evidence of the high building culture of the ancient people of Italy: two tiers of arched ceilings are supported on each side by powerful towers of uncouth travertine - local building stone.
In ancient times, the fortress had seven such gates, thick walls and was impregnable. Lucius, the brother of Mark Anthony, counted on this when, in 40 BC held defense here against Octavian Augustus. For more than six months the Etruscan fortress lasted, but was taken by the Roman legionnaires and ruthlessly burned.
Later, the Roman emperor allowed the restoration of the city, but on condition that he accept for the ages a humiliating name: Augusta Perusia (burnt by Augustus. Perusia - Per-ussere - scorched, burned). The words were stamped on the arch and on the preserved gate of Porta Marzia.
The fate of the last gate of the Etruscan fortress hung in the balance; in the 16th century, the inhabitants of Perugia infuriated another ruler, Pope Paul III, with anger. With the words: "If the rebels do not go to prison, the prison itself goes to the rebels," he ordered the building of walls around the city.
The gates of Port Macia interfered with the construction, they wanted to destroy them. Only thanks to the efforts of the master Antonio da Sangallo, the relic was preserved and built into the new city wall.
Well of the Etruscans
The Etruscan well (Pozzo Etrusco) was knocked out in rock to a depth of 40 m and faced with travertine. He provided the whole city with water from underground sources. Today, you can go down the wet and slippery steps into the well, see the water and once again marvel at how such a structure could have been created in the 3rd century BC. The well is on the Piazza Danti.
Crypt of Volumni
The crypt of Volyumni (Ipogeo dei Volumni) is an ancient burial site, which dates from the III century BC. A staircase to the crypt leads steeply underground and rests against the gate, passing through which you can view the decorated hall with several doors. At the entrance to the right is an Etruscan inscription.
According to the alleged decoding, this is the entrance to the crypt of the Etruscan patricians of Valyunmi. It is a spacious hall with cells and urns, in one of them - the most ancient - lies the remains of the founder of the clan - Arunt. The urn is adorned with winged creatures guarding the Paradise Gate. A ritual underground burial is located Via Assisana, 06135 Ponte San Giovanni /.
Chippo di Perugia
"Cippo Perugino" (Cippo Perugino) artifact of the Archaeological Museum of Umbria. It is a stone - a boundary pillar that divides the possessions of two Etruscan families. The inscription is of value: the longest text of Etruscan writing that has come down to us.
Etruscan letters are still considered unread, Italian scholars characterize them as mystical, encrypted from the uninitiated. While representatives of Russian Etruscology give a decryption of mysterious texts based on the Old Russian language, and quite successfully. Museum address: Piazza Giordano Bruno, 10. Opening hours: from 08:30 to 19:30.
Monuments of Christian Culture
Since the 4th century AD, the culture of Perugia has acquired Christian features embodied in the remaining monuments.
Church of Sant'Angelo
Church of Sant'Angelo (Chiesa di Sant'Angelo) - Archangel Michael - the very first Christian church in the city and one of the oldest among those remaining in Italy. Residents of the city call it affectionately Tempietto (baby temple). Built in the 5th-6th centuries, it carries the features of a purely Romanesque style: powerful round windows without windows, a massive drum and a cross crowning a squat structure. Inside is a covered arcade from the columns of the Corinthian order.
Columns of different sizes and colors, apparently collected from pagan buildings. Chapels attached later gave the temple the shape of a cross. Fans of secrets and mysteries see in the cult sign of Venus (pentagram) on the outer wall, the crosses of the Knights Templar inside the cathedral, its connection with the magic and mysticism of antiquity and the Middle Ages.
Church of San Pietro
The church of San Pietro (Chiesa di San Pietro) was built in the X century on the site of the old cathedral - the earliest residence of the city bishop. Around San Pietro a monastery was formed, founded by a pious resident of the city - Pietro Vincoli. The fate of the monastery is not simple: the inhabitants of the city burned it for the loyalty of the monks to the pope, the French closed it in the 19th century during their rule in Italy. But the monastery was restored and decorated with the best artists of the city. On the portal of the monastery there were wonderful frescoes of the 15th century, on either side of the entrance there is an elegant covered colonnade - a cloister.
The multifaceted Gothic bell tower of the 15th century rises above the monastery and the city. Inside the temple is magnificent: the arcades of columns of gray marble divide it into three naves, biblical scenery, a painting dedicated to the Order of St. Benedict, mosaic on the ceiling, works of Perugino, Vasari and other artists. The throne is decorated with sculpture and semiprecious stones, carved wooden choirs with inlay are considered the most beautiful in Italy. Now in the monastery is the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Perugia. Address: Via Borgo XX Giugno, 74, 06126. Opening hours: 8:00 - 12:00; from 16:00 to sunset.
Chapel of San Bernardino
The San Bernardino Chapel was built in memory and thanks to the city residents for the wandering preacher of San Bernardino. His appearance in the city was pacified by the most violent passions, the enmity between family rival clans subsided. When the saint was angry, it was a shame, the time came for repentance. But the preacher left the city. the ceasefire ended, and the inhabitants took up the usual intrigues. So this chapel stands as a reminder of how far people are from holy love. Address: Piazza S. Francesco, 06123
Capella di San Severo
The Capella di San Severo, small, elegant, but unremarkable from the outside, is the guardian of a masterpiece of two geniuses: teacher Perugino and student Raphael. Young Rafael began the upper part of the fresco "Trinita e santi", but did not finish it.
After his death, 70-year-old Perugino completes the work, which gives the connoisseur of painting a wonderful opportunity to compare the style of two brilliant artists. Address: Piazza Raffaello, 06122. Opening hours: 10:00 - 13:00; 14:00 - 18:00; Monday, 12/25 and 1.01 - not working.
Basilica of San Domenico
The most grandiose building in the region is the Basilica of San Domenico (Basilica di San Domenico), the destroyed structure of the 14th century was restored in the 17th century with Baroque elements. Two elements remain from the original appearance of the basilica: a covered cloister arcade and a gothic window of impressive size over the choirs - the third largest Gothic cathedral in the world.
The 126-meter bell tower (1454-1500) had to be shortened to 100 m to make the structure more stable. In the basilica is the tombstone of Pope Benedict XI, poisoned in the city by opponents of papal influence in 1304. An altar, choirs with wood inlay, a 16th-century portal and a baroque staircase adorn the cathedral to this day.
Cathedral of San Lorenzo
The Cathedral of San Lorenzo is located on the north side of the main city square and is dedicated to the city’s patron saints Saints Lorenzo and Ercolano. Construction lasted almost 150 years (1345-1490). Two features distinguish the Duomo of Perugia from the main cathedrals of other cities.
The cathedral overlooks the main square of the city not with a facade, but with a left side wall.Wall decoration of the main cathedral with white and pink marble decorations is not finished yet, apparently the residents of the city have more important activities.
In general, the cathedral is a strict Gothic building with the addition of elements of later styles. All the main elements of the exterior are on the left wall.
Loggia Braccio da Montone (Braccio da Montone) - bears the name of the Signor of the city, a member of the civil strife, who apparently financed its construction. The loggia is the only element left from the residence of the city ruler (podesta) burnt in 1524. Under the loggia are the remains of an ancient fortress wall and the “Stone of Justice" (Pietra della Giustizia). It was embossed with a solemn text that the residents of the city no longer have debts to the government - and the date: 1264. The loggia is made in the style of the early Renaissance.
The statue of Pope Julius III appeared at the wall of the cathedral in the middle of the 16th century; it was especially loved by the citizens of Perugia for returning the city to self-government.
The chair for the sermons of St. Bernardino, made in the style of cosmatesco - jewelry made of marble chips and antique mosaics.
There is a legend about how the gunner mistakenly fired a shell at the cathedral, and then he placed a wooden crucifix of the 16th century in this place with a sign of repentance.
The bell tower of the cathedral was built at the beginning of the XVII century, and the decoration of the main portal belongs to the Baroque style (1729). Inside the temple are valuable works of jewelers, woodcarvers, painters. Among the relics - the relics of popes buried in the city, the icons of the Virgin and the Glass Crucifix - the memory of the Salt Riot, which dramatically changed the life of the city in 1540.
November 4, Italy commemorates all those who fell for their homeland - Day of National Unity and the Armed Forces. The main square of Perugia - Piazza IV Novembre is dedicated to this event. On its south side rises the Palace of Priorov (Palazzo dei Priori), the business center of the city. Priors are representatives of noble families who ruled the life of Perugia. The construction of the building continued in the XIII-XV centuries, it has a Gothic look.
The tower was supposed to control the approaches to the government building. The symbols of Perugia flaunt on the main portal: a griffin and a lion - a sign of belonging to the Guelph party - supporters of the popes in the struggle for secular power. The prior meeting room is painted with frescoes, among which are two frescoes of Perugino. Today, the city council sits in a different building, and the Priori Palace has become the largest museum - the National Gallery of Umbria, which presents the brilliant work of painters - natives of Umbria.
Of particular importance in the life of the city is the staircase (le scalette) of the Palace, on the steps of which students and young people gather at the end of the day, music plays, holidays are celebrated.
The Fontana Maggiore was created in 1277-1278 in honor of the completion of the construction of the aqueduct - the water supply system that provided the city with water. The perception of ordinary people of Perugia appears in reliefs, they decorated two huge bowls of the fountain: the plots of the Old and New Testaments, scenes from the seasons, characters of fables and myths are presented here in the skillful work of sculptors.
The composition is crowned with bronze figures of nymphs - Mercy, Faith and Hope.
Paul's Fortress (Rocca Paolina) commemorates the brutal massacre of Pope Paul III over the rebellious Perugia. Until 1540, the inhabitants of the city supported the policy of popes, regularly paid taxes to the treasury of the Vatican, many popes found refuge in the city and the last refuge. For such loyalty, the city had the privilege of self-government. But in the middle of the 16th century, with the introduction of a new tax, the Salt Riot broke out in Perugia. Papal troops entered the city, razed the whole district of the city, destroyed the houses of the main rebels, churches, monasteries.
The material of the destroyed buildings was used to build a new fortress - Rocca Paolina. The papal legate was occupied by the Prior Palace - self-government was over. Today, within the fortress is a historical and art museum. There is also a monument to the unifying king of Italy, Vittorio Emanuele II.
Monuments and sights of Perugia - an invaluable treasure of Italian culture.