priory of the Dominicans

A brief description.

Imola, an ancient Roman colony called Forum Cornelii, was situated in an already densely populated area in ancient times. Traces of the bronze age have been found on Mont Castellaccio and a large necropolis of the VI- V century B.C. was discovered in Via Montericco.
The plan of the city is a clear reminder of the typical pattern of the Roman foundations with the intersection of decumanus (Via Emilia) and the cardus (Via Appia-Via Mazzini) where there once was the ancient forum.
With the decline of the Roman Empire and then the Longobard invasions, the economic recovery and the reorganisation of the town life of the X century was the prelude to the turbulent medieval years marked by bloody feuds for the domain of the territory where Imola was against Bologna, Faenza and Ravenna.
Between the 1300 and 1500 Imola is governed by three different powerful families: Alidosi, Manfredi and Visconti. In 1473 the town is under the rule of Galeazzo Maria Sforza who then gives it as dowry to his legitimate daughter Caterina, young bride of Girolamo Riario, nephew of Pope Sisto IV. The Renaissance period that follows is brief but intense and particularly flourishing for the town.

Many urban modifications were made and numerous mansions were built: Piazza Maggiore was expanded and enriched with the construction of Palazzo Riario Sforza , today known as the Palazzo Sersanti. The fortress Rocca was adapted to satisfy the military needs, the walls of the town were completed and the entry doors defined, giving the town the image that it still has today. In 1502 Leonardo da Vinci arrived with the victorious troops of Cesare Borgia, and was given the task to design a map of Imola so as to study the defence system and improve it against enemy attacks. This is the only topographic work that the great artist has ever produced.

From 1504 until the unification of Italy, excluding the Napoleonic era, Imola was part of the Papal State.

The Dominicans established a priory, that now houses a Museum.

Source:Internet: Tourist Information.


Exhibition in the cloister (claustrum)
of the Saint Dominic's priory in Imola,

Italy 1997. Postmark Imola 04.1997.


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