Basilica di Santo Stefano Maggiore was established in the 5th century. Originally dedicated to both Saint Zechariah and Saint Stephen, it was later dedicated to Saint Stephen only. Throughout its history, has undergone several reconstructions, expansion and restoration.
The original church building was built around the year 417 on the initiative of the future bishop Martinianus. It was destroyed by fire in 1070 and it was rebuilt in romanesque style in 1075.
On 26 December 1476 it was the site of the assassination of Duke Galeazzo Maria Sforza, who had come to the basilica for the celebration of the patron saint. On 30 September 1571 in Santo Stefano was baptized the painter Michelangelo Merisi, better known as Caravaggio.
Since 1594 the church underwent a series of interventions, including enlargement of the apse and of the main altar in the early 17th century.
The church preserved the bodies of saints Martinianus, Ausanus and Mansuetus, archbishops of Milan, in 1988 translated to the Milan Cathedral. St. Charles Borromeo also translated here the bodies of saints Leo, Arsazius, Marinus, Mammes and Agapetus.References:
Roman Walls of Lugo are an exceptional architectural, archaeological and constructive legacy of Roman engineering, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Walls are built of internal and external stone facings of slate with some granite, with a core filling of a conglomerate of slate slabs and worked stone pieces from Roman buildings, interlocked with lime mortar.
Their total length of 2117 m in the shape of an oblong rectangle occupies an area of 1.68 ha. Their height varies between 8 and 10 m, with a width of 4.2 m, reaching 7 m in some specific points. The walls still contain 85 external towers, 10 gates (five of which are original and five that were opened in modern times), four staircases and two ramps providing access to the walkway along the top of the walls, one of which is internal and the other external. Each tower contained access stairs leading from the intervallum to the wall walk of town wall, of which a total of 21 have been discovered to date.
The defences of Lugo are the most complete and best preserved example of Roman military architecture in the Western Roman Empire.
Despite the renovation work carried out, the walls conserve their original layout and the construction features associated with their defensive purpose, with walls, battlements, towers, fortifications, both modern and original gates and stairways, and a moat.
Since they were built, the walls have defined the layout and growth of the city, which was declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble in 1973, forming a part of it and becoming an emblematic structure that can be freely accessed to walk along. The local inhabitants and visitors alike have used them as an area for enjoyment and as a part of urban life for centuries.
The fortifications were added to UNESCO"s World Heritage List in late 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.