The Rotonda di San Tomè has a circular plan and is in the Lombard-Romanesque style, dating from the early 12th century, and dedicated to St. Thomas the Apostle.
The church was built in the district known in ancient times as Lemine. The date of its construction is uncertain, as well as the existence of other churches on the same site, as it is known a reconstruction was carried on between the end of the 11th and the beginning of the 12th century. It has been speculated it could have been originated in Lombard times (7th-8th centuries), while other scholars assign it to the subsequent Frankishconquest of northern Italy, when the area was under the counts of Lecco.
It has been hypothesised that the Rotonda was built over the remains of a Roman temple, but archaeological investigations have found no sign of this. They have shown that a centrally planned edifice was present here in the 10th century.
This edifice had decayed in such a way that in the early 12th century the bishop of Bergamo decided on its complete reconstruction. Only the foundations and the columns and capitals of the former building were re-used for the ground floor. The columns were extended with reversed capitals at the base or by adding pieces of other columns. Around the end of the 12th century a presbytery and an apse were also built. In the meantime a monastery was added to the church, with nuns coming especially from the wealthy class of Bergamo. This monastery was suppressed in 1407; only the foundations and minor parts of the buildings can be seen today.
One of the most notable examples of Romanesque architecture in northern Italy, the rotunda has a central plan with a pyramidal composition, with three cylindrical volumes put one above the other. The second volume constitutes the matronaeum, a women's gallery, and has flat pilasters on its wall. The third volume is the lantern, To the rear of the Rotonda are the rectangular presbytery and semi-circular apse. The whole structure is lit by slit windows and small arched windows.
The interior has eight columns in a circle creating two concentric spaces. The wall enclosing them has niches marked by semi-columns with elegant capitals. Traces of frescoes can still be seen.
The upper matronaeum has also eight columns which creates a circular ambulatory facing the central hollow of the lower section. It has also a small apse with traces of frescoes. The capitals on both floors, and the portal, have well sculpted zoomorphic, human and geometric figuresReferences:
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.