Founded in the III century BC from the people of the Celts, Modena, which is located in the Po Valley in northern Italy, became an important agricultural center during the Roman Empire. Between the ninth and thirteenth centuries it developed as an important medieval city and later became the capital of the Duchy of the Estensi in 1598. It was enriched with numerous religious and civil buildings that gave the city a majestic and solemn appearance.
Today Modena is known all over the world for sports car factories (Ferrari, Maserati), as well as for the production of sausages and balsamic vinegar which is produced from the must of Trebbian grapes from the Modena hills.
The monumental complex consisting of the Cathedral, the Civic Tower and the Piazza Grande offers an example of urban development closely linked to the values of civic life, especially in the relations it reveals between the economy, religion and the political and social life of the city. Between the twelfth and thirteenth centuries the monumental complex represented one of the main schools of a new figurative language destined to have an enormous influence on the development of Romanesque art in the Po Valley. At the European level, the sculptures of the Cathedral of Modena offer a privileged point of view to understand the cultural context that accompanied the rebirth of monumental stone sculpture. Very few other monumental complexes, including those of Toulouse and Moissac, can boast such importance under this particular point of view.
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