Longobardi. Exhibition in Pavia 2017. © Osvaldo-Di-Pietrantonio

The Lombards – A People who made History

One of the major medieval exhibitions this autumn focuses upon the Lombards. To be seen in Pavia this autumn, it moves to Naples and ends up in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg.

Friuli c. 600. Cividale del Friuli (Udine) © Museo Archeologico Nazionale
Friuli c. 600. Cividale del Friuli (Udine) © Museo Archeologico Nazionale

With more than 300 exhibits loaned from 80 museums the exhibition is a must-see for anyone interested in Early Medieval Europe. However, not only the exhibition itself, but also the focus on the Lombards in 29 different Italian localities helps to make Northern Italy the venue of choice this autumn. Of special interest here are the seven localities, which were inscribed as World Heritage by UNESCO in 2011. To this should be added the remarkable churches in Pavia, which in themselves are worth the trip. The exhibition follows fifteen years after the last exhibition dedicated to the. Since then, research has continued to expand the history of the Lombards, not least archaeologically.

The Lombards (aka Longobards or Langobards, literally meaning “The People with Long Beards”) were a group of Germanic warriors, which entered Northern Italy in 568 after the ravages of the Gothic wars (535 – 554). Here they established a kingdom, later called Regnum Italicum. They ruled large parts of the Italian Peninsula until Charlemagne defeated his father-in-law, king Desiderius in 774. The Lombards are known for their distinct artistic legacy as well as the political role, they played in the Early Medieval History of not only Italy, but the whole of Europe.

The Lombards combined inspiration from the heritage of Ancient Rome, Byzantium and Germanic Northern Europe and fused it with a distinct Christian Spirituality. The treasures exhibited in Pavia in 2017 testify to the Lombards’ major role in the spiritual and cultural development of Early Medieval Europe.


Mostra Longobardi – Website

Cover of catalogue - Longobard ed. Skira 2017I Longobardi. Un popolo che cambia la storia
By G. Pietro Brogiolo and Federico Marazzi
Skira 2017



Castello Visconteo di Pavia
Viale XI Febbraio, 35
27100 Pavia, Italy
01.09.2017 – 03.12.2017

Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli
15.12.2017 – 25.03.2018

The Hermitage in St. Petersburg
01.04.2018 – 01.06.e 2018


The Iron Crown

The Lombards on the Move











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