Modena was founded in the 3rd century B.C. by the Celts and later, as part of the Roman Empire, it became an important agricultural centre along Emilia road.
Modena was founded in the 3rd century B.C. by the Celts and later, as part of the Roman Empire, it became an important agricultural centre along Emilia road. After the barbarian invasions of the 5th and 4th centuries, the town resumed the commercial activities and, in the 9th century, it was possible for it to build the first circle of walls, which would mark its development throughout the Middle Ages, until its transformation into a Libero Comune (free municipality).
After the short Mantuan domination in 1289, Modena went back under the dominion of the House of Este in 1336, who kept on governing it until 1796. These years were a period of splendour and the urban complex extended. It was in this period when the streets of the historical town centre were laid-out, according to the “chessboard model”, coming from the nearby Ferrara.
In 1598 Modena became capital of the Este Dukedom and was embellished by numerous religious and civilian buildings, which gave a majestic and solemn look to the town. In the 19th century, the Auster-Este dinasty devoted itself to the town’s modernization, which underwent a complete change of its layout, through the demolition of the walls, then substituted by the today still existing wooded ring road.