The main center of the Liguri Genuates, Genoa developed as a maritime emporium beginning in the 5th century BC. In 205, it was destroyed by the Carthaginians because of its loyalty to Rome. In the 3rd century it became a municipality and episcopal diocese. It achieved its maximum importance as a maritime republic in the 13th century, after defeating Pisa in 1284 and gaining predominance over the Tirrenian Sea. Due to feuds and rivalry with Venice it tightened political alliances with France, but eventually was conquered by that country in 1499 and again in 1502. It gained permanent independence from France in 1528. The famous admiral, Andrea Doria, managed to re- establish the independence of the Genoese Republic, which was maintained up to the Napoleanic period. After that, in 1814, it was annexed to Piedmont. After the creation of the Italian State in 1861, the city developed its economic functions through rapid industrial and commercial progress. Genoa was occupied by the Germans in 1943; however, it was the first city of western Italy to rise up against the Occupation (24 April, 1945) and to force the German garrison to unconditional surrender, prior to the arrival of Allied troops.
ART AND CULTURE
Artistically speaking, the most lively periods for Genoa were the Middle Ages and the 16th and 17th centuries. The medieval city extended from the port towards the west, the hills and the present monumental bridge, continuing up to Piazza Fontana Marose and "Lanterna" (the symbol of Genoa). The new walls contained the Casteletto and the foothills of the Montegalletto. The neighborhoods were formed by typical small lanes flanked by tall buildings called "caruggi." These were rich with important monuments: from the churches of San Donato and Santa Maria di Castello to the Cathedral; from Sant'Andrea Gate to the homes of the Doria, and to San Giorgio Palace. In the 16th and 17th centuries Genoa's architecture flourished. Famous architects such as G. Alessi, G. B. Castello, G. Ponzello, P.F. Cantone and others created an extremely original complex of churches, towns and above all, princely palaces. Painting and sculpture, essentially decorative in function, developed alongside works of art by painters such as Luca Cambiaso, Valerio Castello, Fiasella, Piola, De Ferrari, Assereto and Carlone. These created an authentic Genoese school with contributions from Flemish painters like Rubens and van Dyck, who lived in Genoa.
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