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Façade of the Communal Palace.
The Abbey of San Cassiano.
Narni is an ancient hilltown and comune of Umbria in central Italymarker, with 20,100 inhabitants according to the 2003 census; at altitude 240 m (787 ft) it overhangs a narrow gorge of the Nera River in the province of Terni.
It is very close to the Geographic center of Italy There is a stone on the exact spot with a sign in multiple languages

History

The area around Narnia was already inhabited in the Paleolithic and Neolithic Ages, as attested by finds in some of the caves. Around the start of the first millennium the Osco-Umbrian (Ombrikoì in Greek), a people with a language of Indo-European origin that dominated the left bank of the Tiber that vertically cuts the region to the Adriatic seamarker, settled in the area and called the town Nequinum. Records mention Nequinum as early as 600 BC.

The Romans conquered Nequinum in the 4th century BC and made it a position of force in this key point of the Via Flaminia the famous road which connected the city of Romemarker to the Adriatic Seamarker (at that time the road passed through the town descending to the right bank of the Nera to then carrying on to Carsulaemarker, Acquaspartamarker, Massa Martanamarker and Spoletomarker). It supported the Gauls with the hope of freeing itself from Rome. The attempt failed and the victorious Romans changed its name to Narnia after the nearby Nar River; as in the case of Beneventomarker, the former name was considered of ill augury: in Latin, nequeo means "I am unable", and nequitia means "worthlessness".

In 299 BC it became a Roman Municipality, and took the name Narnia. In 209 BC, it was destroyed by the Romans, for refusing to help pay for the war against Carthagemarker. It was later rebuilt, and during the Roman times it was an outpost for the Roman army.

The Roman Emperor Nerva was born in Narnia in 35.

In Late Antiquity it suffered the events of the Greek-Gothic war and was plundered by Totila. Seat of a Lombard gastald (guastaldo), Narnia embraced the cause of Otho I of Saxony thanks to the mediation of its bishop, now Pope John XVII. Narni was part of the possessions of the Countess Matilde, once more part of the Dominions of the Church in 726. From the 11th century it began to increase in wealth and power, was opposed to Pope Paschal II in 1112 and rose against Barbarossa in 1167. This insubordination cost Narni a ferocious repression imposed by the archbishop Christian of Mainz, Barbarossa's Chancellor. In 1242 Narni, prevalently tied to the Guelphmarker party, entered into an alliance with Perugiamarker and Rome against the Empire.

In the following century it was included in the reconquest of the papal patrimony by Cardinal Albornoz, who also had the mighty Rocca built. It was the work of Ugolino di Montemarte, known as il Gattapone. He was also author of the plans for the Loggia dei Priori and the Colonnade that faces out onto the Piazza dei Priori together with the 13th‑century Palazzo del Podestà and the 14th‑century fountain.

In 1373 Narnia was given as fief to the Orsini to whom it returned in 1409. Occupied by King Ladislas of Naples, in the 15th century, to be soon again reabsorbed by the church, thanks to Braccio da Montone. July 15, 1525 marked a decisive turning-point in Narni's history. The troops of Charles V, mostly in fact the undisciplined Spanish soldiery and German mercenaries (Landsknechten), put the city to fire and sword; it lost its ancient prosperity. Even the inhabitants of Ternimarker took advantage of the situation to deliver their blame to give vent to their long-repressed hatred of Narni. Its reconstruction gives it a physiognomy characteristic of the cities in Papal territory. It became part of the Roman Republic in 1789. In 1831 it joined the revolt against Gregory XVI and was annexed to the Italian Kingdom in 1860.

Main sights

Like many of the smaller towns of Umbria, Narni is still of strikingly medieval appearance today, with stone buildings, and narrow cobblestone streets. The town is famous for the largest Roman bridge (Ponte di Augusto[54911]) ever built, by which the Via Flaminia crossed the Nera: about half of the bridge still stands; it is some 30 meters high.

Other sights include:
  • Duomo (Cathedral).
  • Eroli Museum with a Ghirlandaio's altarpiece.
  • Church of Santa Maria Impensole.
  • Communal Palace (13th century).
  • Palazzo dei Priori, located in the ancient Roman forum's site.
  • Rocca Albornoziana (Albornoz' Castle), overlooking the town, now hosting temporary exhibitions.
  • Romanesque church of Santa Pudenziana, just outside the town.
  • Church of Sant'Agostino, decorated with 18th century tromp-l'oeil frescoes.
  • Benedictine abbey of San Cassiano.


Narnia

The imaginary land of Narnia, described in the works of C. S. Lewis, may have been named after Narni. It has been said that he came across the name in an atlas as a child.

Notable people



References

External links






See also

Roman shipyard of Stifone


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