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Pistoria, the old Latin name of Pistoia, was a Gallic, Ligurian and Etruscan city. After the city became a Roman colony in the 6th century BC, it was a place for activities or trades. Near the end of the 6th century, the city was captured by troops of the Lombardic king. The city did very well under the control of the Lombards. In 1177, Pistoia chose to become a free commune. In the following years, it became an important political centre. It built walls and several public and religious buildings.
In 1254 Pistoia was captured by troops from Florentine. Pistoia stayed a Florentine city except for few years in the 14th century, when Castruccio Castracani captured it for Lucca. It was annexed to (made a part of) Florence in 1530. During the 14th century Ormanno Tedici was one of the Lords of the city.
Duomo Square and Bishops' Palace
The large Piazza del Duomo is connected near to other famous buildings, for example the Palazzo del Comune and the Palazzo del Podestà. In July, the Giostra dell'Orso ("Bear Joust") takes place in the square. At the joust, horsemen try to strike a target held by a dummy shaped like a bear. The 14th century Baptistry, in Gothic style is also in the square.
The Palazzo dei Vescovi ("Bishops' Palace") includes a loggia in gothic style. .
Other important buildings
- Church of the Madonna dell'Umiltà (1509), finished by Giovanni Vasari with a high cupola.
- Church of San Bartolomeo in Pantano (12th century).
- The Romanesque church of San Giovanni Fuoricivitas (12th-14th century).
- The Monument in Honour of Brazilians (Soldiers and Pilots) killed in action on Italian Campaign (World War II)
- Church of San Domenico
- Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie
- Church of San Pietro Maggiore
- Church of San Paolo
- Church of 'La Vergine"
- the Baroque church of Santissima Annunziata, famous for its Chiostro dei Morti ("Dead's Cloister").
- "Ospedale del Ceppo" ("del Ceppo Hospital") '(13th century).
- The 14th century walls. These had originally four gates: Porta al Borgo, Porta San Marco, Porta Carratica and Porta Lucchese. All were destroyed at the beginning of the 20th century.
- The Medici Fortress of Santa Barbara, built in the 16th century by the Florentines.
- The ancient Pieve San Michele in Groppoli, in the neighbourhood of the city.
Famous people born in Pistoia
- Enrico Betti
- Mauro Bolognini
- Licio Gelli
- Cino da Pistoia
- Ippolito Desideri
- Pope Clement IX
- Marino Marini
- Filippo Pacini
Pistoia is twinned with: