A N.. Province Of Italy, in Lom-bardy, comprising the districts of Pavia, Bob-bio, Lomellina, and Voghera; area, 1,292 sq. m.; pop. in 1872, 448,435. It is watered by the Po, the Ticino, and the Olona, and the canals of Bereguardo and Pavia and the Na-viglio Grande pass through it. The country is generally level, and the soil fertile. Much attention is paid to the raising of silk and the breeding of cattle, and much of the cheese called Parmesan is made here. There are no manufactures of importance. The climate is not very healthy.
A City (Anc. Ticinum), capital of the province, on an eminence on the left bank of the Ticino, near its confluence with the Po, 19 m. S. by W. of Milan; pop. in 1872, 29,618. It is about one mile in extent each way, and is surrounded by an old wall. A communication with the suburb on the other side of the river is made by a covered bridge of eight arches built in 1351. From this bridge the principal thoroughfare extends through the city. Pavia was at one time remarkable for the magnificence of its buildings, and for its numerous lofty square towers, designed for ornament, or used as prisons or strongholds, whence it was called " the city of a hundred towers." Of those still standing, Belcredi and Maino are each about 190 ft. high. One of the most noteworthy of the edifices now remaining is the cathedral, begun near the close of the 15th century and still unfinished, in a side chapel of which is the magnificent tomb of St. Augustine. The church of San Michele, a Lombard building, was finished during the 7th century. Santa Maria del Carmine, an immense Italian Gothic church built in the 14th century, is a remarkable specimen of the finest brickwork; and the church of San Francesco is of the same style and material.
The celebrated church of San Pietro in Oielo d'Oro, which contained the tomb of Boethius, is now mostly in ruins, and a part of it is used as a storehouse. About 4 m. N. of the city is the magnificent monastery of Oertosa, founded in 1396 by Giovanni Galeazzo Visconti, the first duke of Milan, with a church having a facade which is considered the most beautiful architectural work of that age. The university of Pavia, the most ancient in Italy, is said to have been founded by Charlemagne in 774; but it received its greatest impulse from Galeazzo Visconti. It has a library of about 50,000 volumes, a collection of coins, a museum of anatomical preparations and of specimens of natural history, a botanic garden, and a school of the fine arts. Of the two colleges now belonging to the university, the collegio Bor-romeo educates about 40 students, and the collegio Ghislieri about 60; and in both the students are instructed, lodged, and fed gratuitously. The total number of students in the university is about 1,600. - Although at the end of the Koman republic Ticinum was a place of considerable importance, it is mentioned first by the geographers and historians of the empire. In A. D. 452 it was taken by Attila; but Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths, rebuilt and fortified it, and erected a palace.
During the Gothic wars it was the principal stronghold of that people in northern Italy, and there the royal treasury and valuables were kept. During the Lombard invasion it resisted for three years a siege by Alboin. Taken by him in 572, the Lombard monarchs chose it for their residence, and it remained the capital of their kingdom till 774, when Desiderius, the last Lombard king, after a protracted siege, was obliged to submit to Charlemagne. It was now called Papia, afterward changed to Pavia. In the middle ages, during which a number of councils were held there, it was at one time an independent republic, at another ruled over by tyrants, and again subject to the authority of the Viscontis of Milan. It is memorable for the battle fought under its walls Feb. 24, 1525, between th,e French under Francis I. and the imperialists under Marshal Lannoy, in which the former were defeated and nearly destroyed, and their king was taken prisoner. In 1527 and .1528 Pavia was twice taken by the French and laid waste. In 1796 it was stormed and pillaged by Napoleon, after an insurrection in which his garrison had been expelled.