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Pavia

Pavia (pävē´ä), city (1991 pop. 79,962), capital of Pavia prov., Lombardy, N Italy, on the Ticino River near its confluence with the Po. Pavia has long been an agricultural center and is now also an industrial and transportation center. Manufactures include textiles, metals, chemicals, machinery, and food products. Known as Ticinum in Roman times, it was an important stronghold of the empire and later served as the capital of the Lombard kings. From the 9th to the 12th cent. the Italian kings, and several German kings, received the Iron Crown of Lombardy at Pavia. In the 12th cent. the city became a free commune, loyal, however, to the emperor. It was the last Lombard city to fall to the Visconti (1359), who built most of the cathedral and started the construction of the Certosa di Pavia, a Carthusian monastery. Pavia suffered heavily during the Italian wars, and near there, in 1525, Emperor Charles V defeated and captured Francis I of France. The city came successively under Spanish, French, and Austrian domination, and was liberated in 1859. Among Pavia's notable structures, besides the cathedral, are the Romanesque St. Michael's Church (12th cent.); the Lombard-Romanesque St. Peter's Church (12th cent.), where St. Augustine is buried; and the large Castello Visconteo (14th–15th cent.). There is a university, which was established (1361) around a celebrated law school (founded in the 9th cent.).

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