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Cividale

Cividale del Friuli (Friulian: Cividât, Slovene: Čedad) is a town and comune in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Northern Italy, 15 km by rail from Udine, whose province it belongs to. The town is in the foothills of the eastern Alps close to the Slovenian border, 135 m above sea-level. It is situated on the river Natisone, which forms a picturesque ravine here. Formerly an important regional power, it is today a quiet, small town that attracts tourists thanks to its medieval center.

 

The historical center of the town is dominated by Piazza del Duomo, which is where the National Archeological Museum is located. Close by is the Palazzo dei Provveditori Veneti, constructed in 1565 and designed by Andrea Palladio. The town is split in two by the Natisone River, which is spanned by the impressive Devil's Bridge (15th century, rebuilt in 1918). Also notable is the Celtic Hypogeum, a subterranean series of halls carved in the rock in ancient times, whose destination remains unclear: uses as either Celtic funerary monument or a Roman (Lombard) jail has been proposed.

 

The small church of Oratorio di Santa Maria in Valle (also known as Lombard Temple), next to the Natisone river, is a notable example of High Middle Ages art sometimes attributed to the 8th century, but probably later. Included in the old Lombard quarter, it was probably used as Palatine Chapel by the Lombard dukes and king's functionaries.

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Taken in April 2010