Mantua's Monumental Cemetery


Mantova Museo Urbano Diffuso

Mantova Museo Urbano Diffuso

The history of the area where the municipal cemetery is located today, next to the road that goes from Mantua to Cremona, is long and complex. As is well known, at the end of the 18th century the problem of distancing cemeteries from urban areas was posed. Shortly after, a “plot of land outside Porta Pradella, on the so-called road of the Angels, one mile from the City” was identified. April 13, 1824, a Municipal Congregation decided to erect a wall surrounding the cemetery, which had already been active for two years. From then on a series of progressive enlargements were carried out, as set out in the report dated June 1863, drafted by the engineer Romeo Rho. However, the first project for the definition of the perimeter dates to 1886 and was never carried out. More competitions and proposals followed, until the first years of the 20th century, when a magniloquent plan in an eclectic style, with references to ancient architecture, was conceived by Ernesto Pirovano. Yet the works were delayed again, and, paradoxically, the actual construction of a facade displayed a sober style, very similar to a Rationalist one. The definitive version dates to 1934, the same year Pirovano died. On All Souls' Day in 1939, the “Voce di Mantova” praised the austere beauty of the monumental facade.If the history of the erection of the cemetery’s boundaries is long and troubled, it is also true that the number of monuments inside it is remarkable: they constitute an open-air museum of sculpture and architecture from the 1900s and the late 1800s. In fact, where political power hesitated for a long time, the bourgeois families from Mantua adorned the tombs of their relatives with a style that is both artistic and pathetic. Thus the elegance of the original site, enlarged on more occasions, also allows to admire traces from a remote epoch, remarkable in their artistic sober effectiveness.


  • Title: Mantua's Monumental Cemetery
  • Date Created: 1822

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