Located along the banks of the Po, Casalmaggiore is a town in the province of Cremona, presumably founded in the VI century, known since then for its strategic location and its active river trade. The first written records date back to year 1000, during the period of the Duchy of Este, when the oldest district (Castelvecchio) was fortified with walls, that gradually were dismantled or incorporated into the urban fabric of the city. After two centuries of prevailing domination of the Lords of Cremona (except for a short period, when it belonged to the Gonzaga), Casalmaggiore submitted the domain of the Republic of Venice and later of the Duchy of Milan. In the XVIII century, the town secured a period of economic prosperity and cultural vitality, thanks to the privileges granted to the population by the Empress Maria Theresa of Austria.
Sites of Interest:
- the Cathedral of St. Stephen, consecrated in 1861, a Greek cross plan building with three naves and a dome 60 meters high. Inside are preserved several valuable paintings, including "The Four Cardinal Virtues" by Guglielmo Caccia, "The Last Supper" and "St. Peter in Prison" by G.B. Trotti, "Jesus in the Garden" by Cavassetti and "The Adoration of the Magi" by Agosta;
- the XVI century Church of Santa Chiara, which features an octagonal shaped plan with a double row of arcades. Inside, in addition to valuable paintings, are preserved frescoes of the XVI and XVIII centuries;
- the XVIII century Church of San Sebastian;
- the Church of Santa Maria del Popolo, dating back to 1577, whose external structure conceals a octagonal shaped interior;
- the Church of the Immaculate Conception (1777);
- the Church of San Leonardo, whose original structure dates back to the XV century;
- the Church of San Francesco, which already existed in 1395, was enlarged and altered in later centuries. It was rebuilt in Gothic style after a fire in 1919;
- the Shrine of the Fountain, within which lies the tomb of the illustrious painter Parmigianino, who died in Casalmaggiore in 1540;
- the Torrione, the last remnant watch tower of the ancient city walls. It served as a gateway to the core of the castle;
- the XVIII century Theatre;
- the Town Hall;
- the Museum of the Bijou (Jewel);
- Palazzo Martinelli.