2. THE PERUGIA SYNAGOGUE:
Via S. Ercolano 8
PERUGIA - GENERAL
|Perugia dominates the Tiber Valley from a high,
irregular and rough hill: the particular feature of the land has
generated a wide variety of urbanistic situations, giving the town a
very special aspect.
The rich artistic and cultural patrimony and the natural environment
make Perugia an unique city of major importance, and this from the
beginning of its history.
Perugia lies on a hill inhabited ever since the prehistoric times; it
was first a settlement of the Umbrians, then it passed under the rule
of the Etruscans, becoming one of the most important cities in the
High Tiber Valley.
Conquered by the Romans, Perugia was deeply involved in the civil war
between Antonio and Ottaviano; this latter took possession of the town
in 40 B.C. and this, after being heavily destroyed, was given the name
After the fall of the Roman Empire Perugia was destroyed again by
Totila in 547; then it belonged to the Byzantine dominions, and
finally it became a powerful independent city-state allied to the
The 14th century was characterised by violent struggles between Nobles
(Beccherini) and Populars (Raspanti) and by the war against the Pope
who wanted the Umbrian cities to be under his rule; the war finished
with the Peace of Bologna in 1370, when Perugia was forced to
recognise the Papal authority.
Also in the following centuries the town continued to be divided into
various rival factions fighting to come to power: the Popular
government leaded by Biordo Michelotti was replaced by the sway of the
soldier of fortune Braccio Fortebraccio; the leading families were
always making conspiracies and massacres, causing a grave moral and
In 1540 Perugia was placed under the direct control of the Papal State
and pope Paolo III ordered to Antonio da Sangallo the erection of the
Rocca Paolina, symbol of the papal power over the city.
The papal rule continued brief breaks excepted during the French
occupation and the Roman Republic until the formation of the Kingdom
of Italy in 1861.
Perugia today is a modern and cosmopolitan city known all over the
world because of its cultural events and the University for
Proud of its historical traditions and the beautiful buildings of the
past, Perugia let itself be admired in its thousand picturesque
corners where present and past integrate one another and create an