Ferrara, City of the Renaissance, 
and its Po Delta (1995, 1999)
Italy

Back to index

Ferrara, which grew up around a ford over the River Po, became an intellectual and artistic centre that attracted the greatest minds of the Italian Renaissance in the 15th and 16th centuries. Here, Piero della Francesca, Jacopo Bellini and Andrea Mantegna decorated the palaces of the House of Este. 

The humanist concept of the 'ideal city' came to life here in the neighbourhoods built from 1492 onwards by Biagio Rossetti according to the new principles of perspective. The completion of this project marked the birth of modern town planning and influenced its subsequent development. 

  • Italy 1980. The Estense Castle in Ferrara. 

Ferrara is a city in northern Italy, capital of Ferrara Province, in Emilia-Romagna Region, on the Po River. Surrounded by broad tracts of fertile land, much of which has been reclaimed from marshes, Ferrara is an agricultural marketing center.  

During the Renaissance Ferrara was the capital of the dukes of Este, whose court was a brilliant center of learning, literature, and the arts. The University of Ferrara was founded by Alberto V d'Este in 1391; in its library are manuscripts by the poets Ludovico Ariosto and Torquato Tasso, both of whom enjoyed Este patronage. 

France 1983. Leonardo da Vinci. Charcoal drawing of Isabelle d'Este.

Paintings by artists of the Ferrara school, which flourished in the 15th and 16th centuries, hang in the Renaissance building called the Palazzo dei Diamanti (Italian, “diamond palace”). The Este castle, begun in 1385, is an example of classic medieval military architecture.

The Este family became rulers of Ferrara in 1208 and ruled until 1598, when, for lack of a male heir in the direct line of descent, the city was claimed by the pope and joined to the Papal States. In 1861 it became part of the kingdom of Italy. Bombing in World War II caused considerable damage. 

One of Leonardo da Vinci's many unfinished paintings is this one of Isabelle d'Este, an Italian noble woman from Ferrara.  The stamp shows a charcoal drawing (1504) of the painting; the drawing belongs to the Louvre Museum.  

  • France 1983.  Charcoal drawing of Isabelle d'Este. 

Sources and links:

Other World Heritage Sites in Italy (on this site). Inactive links are not described on stamps. Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, section Italy for further information about such sites. 

Back to index


Revised 01 aug 2006  
Copyright © 1999 Heindorffhus 
All Rights Reserved