Duchy of Mantua

The Duchy of Mantua was a duchy in Lombardy, Northern Italy. Its first duke was Federico II Gonzaga, member of the House of Gonzaga that ruled Mantua since 1328.[1] The following year, the Duchy also acquired the March of Montferrat, thanks to the marriage between Gonzaga and Margaret Paleologa, Marchioness of Montferrat.[2]

Duchy of Mantua
Ducato di Mantova (in Italian)
Ducatus Mantuæ (in Latin)
Coat of arms
The Duchy of Mantua in the early 18th century
StatusDuchy, within the imperial Kingdom of Italy of the Holy Roman Empire
Common languagesLombard
Roman Catholicism
GovernmentPrincely hereditary monarchy
Federico II Gonzaga (first)
Ferdinando Carlo Gonzaga (last)
Historical eraEarly Modern
 Margravate of Mantua is raised to Duchy
8 April 1530
 Gonzaga-Nevers' ascent to throne
25 December 1627
CurrencyMonetazione di Mantova
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Margravate of Mantua
Habsburg Monarchy
Today part ofItaly

The Duchy's historic power and influence under the Gonzaga family has made it one of the main artistic, cultural, and especially musical hubs of Northern Italy and the country as a whole. Mantua also had one of the most splendid courts of Italy and Europe in the fifteenth, sixteenth, and early seventeenth centuries.[3]

In 1708, after the death of Ferdinando Carlo Gonzaga, the last heir of the Gonzaga family, the Duchy ceased its existence. Their domains were divided between the House of Savoy, that obtained the remaining half of Montferrat, and the House of Habsburg, that obtained the city of Mantua itself.[4]

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