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Walter Smith

Capital city of Karnataka State in southern India. Hero stones of the late 9th century ad discovered at Begur, 11 km east of Bangalore, bear inscriptions mentioning a ‘Battle of Bangalore’, and Roman coins found in the vicinity indicate that the area had some importance as a trading centre. In 1537 a city was established by Kempe Gowda, a vassal of the Vijayanagara dynasty. Nothing remains of his mud-brick fort, but temples attributed to him include the Gavi Gangadhareshvara, a rock-cut shrine preceded by a masonry hall, and the Basavan Temple, a structural shrine of two unelaborated forehalls and a superstructure in Vijayanagora style.

Bangalore’s strategic location and the temperate climate created by its high elevation made the city attractive to subsequent ruling powers. In 1637 it was conquered by the Bijapur Sultanate and given as a fief to the Maratha chief Shahji Bhonsle. In 1685 it fell to the Mughal dynasty. The rajas of Mysore, who subsequently became its governors, built a new mud-brick fort south of the old one in the late 17th century. In ...



Michael Smithies

[Thai Krungthep: ‘City of Angels’]

Capital city of Thailand. Founded by Rama I (reg 1782–1809), first king of the Chakri dynasty, as his capital, the city was built on the site of a fort dating from the 1660s on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River, 77 km south of the former capital Ayutthaya, which was destroyed by the Burmese in 1767. One of the most elaborate complexes in Bangkok, the Grand Palace (Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang), was built in the early years of Rama I’s reign and was extended and embellished by his successors, so that it contains buildings in a variety of styles. One of the earliest is the Amarin Winichai Hall, which was formerly the royal court of justice and is now used for coronations, for the bestowal of decorations and for other ceremonial functions. It is a T-shaped building with painted walls; the ceiling was rebuilt after a fire in ...



Li Liu


Chinese city in Shaanxi Province, where several important sites from the Neolithic to Eastern Zhou periods (c. 6500–256 bc) have been discovered. A Neolithic village site was excavated in 1958–60 and 1977–8 at Beishouling. The cultural deposits found belong to the Laoguantai culture and the Yangshao culture, dated by radiocarbon analysis to c. 5000–c. 2500 bc. The ceramics are reddish in colour, and some vessels are painted. Major pottery types include the pointed-bottom vase, flat-bottom jar, round-bottom bowl and suantou hu (garlic-head) vessel (for illustration of shapes see China, fig.). The most elaborate ones are a boat-shaped vessel with a net design and a garlic-shaped vessel with a design of a bird pecking at a fish.

At Rujiazhuang, Zhuyuangou and Zhifangtou, three cemeteries of the Western Zhou period (c. 1050–771 bc) were excavated in 1974–81. They belonged to the state of Yu, a Western Zhou feudal state not recorded in ancient texts. The excavations uncovered 27 tombs, two sacrificial pits containing chariots and horses, and four pits containing only horses. More than 2600 grave goods, including bronze, jade, stone, bone, shell and ceramic objects, were unearthed. The findings provide evidence of a culture combining a unique local style with influences from the Western Zhou, the Siwa culture in Gansu Province and the Shu culture in Sichuan Province. Many stone and jade ornaments and bronze vessels are decorated with animal motifs, and bronze figurines depict details of dress and hairstyles suggesting that the Yu people were culturally closely related to the Di and Qiang peoples in north-western and south-western areas....


Felipe Fernández-Armesto, Josep Maria Rovira, Alberto Villar Movellán, Lourdes Cirlot, José Manuel Cruz Valdovinos, E. B. Sarewitz, J. R. L. Highfield and Artur López Rodríguez

Second largest city in Spain and seat of government of the autonomous community of Catalonia. It is located on the country’s north-eastern Mediterranean coast and has played a central role in artistic and architectural stylistic developments in Spain. Its coastal position and proximity to the French border have made it the point of entry into Spain for numerous influences from other European countries, especially during the medieval period and at the end of the 19th century.

Felipe Fernández-Armesto

Under the Romans Barcelona was prosperous but small; infilling and enlargement in the 5th and 6th centuries ad, however, when it was a courtly centre of Visigothic rulers, bequeathed a capital of c. 12 ha to the Counts of Barcelona, who ruled the principality of Catalonia from the 9th century. The city’s wealth in the early medieval period came from farming and war, and its urban character from its courtly status. Growth in the late 10th century is suggested by the increasing number of cathedral canonries and by the scale of devastation ascribed to the raid by the Moorish commander Almanzor in 985, from which Barcelona recovered with a resilience characteristic of its response to almost every subsequent crisis. By the late 11th century, already enriched with plunder and pay from weak Muslim neighbours, the city was becoming an emporium of seaborne trade. The consequent growth caused property prices to rise and generated extramural developments; by the early 13th century the city’s outgrowth had reached the area north-east of S Maria del Mar, with houses stretching as far as the modern sites of the markets of S Caterina and the Born, and, on the eastern side of Barcelona, as far as S Anha. Over the next 150 years infilling brought the same level of urban density to the whole of this area; new settlements almost doubled the built-up area in the north-east around the vast new foundation of S Caterina, along the waterfront to the south, and west as far as the Riera—now the main boulevard known as the Rambla. In the same period all the major monuments of the city were rebuilt (...



E. R. Salmanov

[Arab. Bardha‛a; Armen. Partav]

Town and regional centre in Azerbaijan. Located 20 km from the Kura River in Transcaucasia, it was the residence of the Sasanian governor-generals from the 5th to the 7th century ad and of the Albanian princes in the 7th century. In the 8th century it became the headquarters of the Arab governors in charge of the provinces of Arran and Armenia. It remained a large and flourishing town until the beginning of the 10th century but then declined dramatically. Despite its ruined state, it retained its reputation as a Muslim holy place because of the remains of religious buildings erected under the Abbasid caliphate, and it was the preferred place of burial for local Muslims. The town centre was the pisé fortress (114×115 m) fortified with round towers and a gate in the south-west wall. Ruined pisé walls inside the fortress may have been part of a palace dating from the 14th century....


Vladimír Hrubý

[formerly Hung. Bártfa, Ger. Bartfeld]

Town in the north-east of Slovakia, situated on the River Topla. A Slav settlement dating from the 9th to the 12th centuries preceded the foundation of the town, which is first documented in 1247. Construction of the medieval town and fortifications was finished in the third quarter of the 14th century; and Bardejov was granted its royal charter in 1376. The town was laid out on a chessboard pattern with an oblong area in the middle and building plots measuring 9×6 m. The fortifications were reinforced by Master Mikuláš Lapicida from 1441 and subsequently up to the mid-16th century under the supervision of Master Mikuláš from Sabinov. Eventually they consisted of two parallel circuits of walls with a moat, reinforced towers and four gates protected by barbicans. The main bulwark was 8 m high and had a gallery. The towers, nine free-standing, two part of existing structures, are cylindrical in shape and form a semicircle. The masonry is plastered over and the plaster incised with the shape of ashlar blocks and decorated with a number of paintings....


Pina Belli D’Elia and Roberto Coroneo

[Lat. Barium]

Regional capital and port in Apulia, southern Italy. The site of an important Greek colony, Bari may have been inhabited from 1500 BC. After the Roman conquest, in the 3rd century BC, the port developed, and the city became an important agricultural and commercial centre with communications to both East and West. The diocese of Bari was founded in AD 347. From the 6th century to the 12th, Bari was ruled successively by the Lombards, Saracens, Byzantines, and Normans. This was a period of great prosperity when the port grew to rival Venice and, with the acquisition of the relics of St Nicholas in 1087, the city became a major religious centre. A lively diversity of cultural influences characterizes the medieval buildings, notably S Nicola (see §2 below), a typical example of Apulian Romanesque, and the cathedral (see §1 below). In 1156 the Normans razed the city when its inhabitants rebelled. It again flourished under the Hohenstaufen emperor ...


Jeffrey A. Hughes

City in the Chambal Valley, Rajasthan, India. It was an important strategic and commercial location from the beginning of the Islamic period and became increasingly important during Mughal family times, culminating with the construction of a lavish palace complex during the reign of Shah Jahan (reg 1628–58). The area first came to prominence in 1021 when Mahmud of Ghazna (reg 998–1030) led a punitive expedition to Bari. The earliest permanent fortification was erected between 1345 and 1351, and in the 15th century Buhlul Lodi (reg 1451–89) brought the region under his control.

The first Mughal emperor, Babar (reg 1526–30), visited Bari as early as 1525; he liked the surrounding countryside and soon instigated a building programme to beautify the arid location with gardens and irrigation tanks. Mughal involvement in the area intensified under Akbar (reg 1556–1605), when, according to Akbar’s historian Abu’l-Fazl, Bari became one of the most favoured imperial hunting grounds. Bari continued as a hunting retreat under Jahangir (...


Stefano D’Ovidio

[Lat. Baruli, Barulum]

City in Apulia, southern Italy. Situated south of the River Ofanto, it was the port for the neighbouring Roman city of Canne. It featured in the Tabula Peutingeriana as Bardulum, and a basilica was built there in the 6th century. An important Norman stronghold, it was a major trade centre, attracting inhabitants from nearby cities and various ethnic groups. Its crucial position on routes to the Holy Land meant that several knightly orders had houses there. Frederick II proclaimed the Sixth Crusade here in 1228. Its heyday was in the Angevin era (1266–1383), with local noble families coming to prominence. The scene of a bloody conflict during the Italian Wars, known as the Challenge of Barletta (1503), it subsequently declined during the Spanish domination of southern Italy (1503–1707), with signs of recovery during the 19th century. Since 2004 Barletta, Andria, and Trani have become the administrative centres of the province of Barletta....



Cornelia Bauer, Christina Maurer, Ulrike Liebl and Jane Geddes

[Fr. Bâle; Ger. Basel]

Swiss city, capital of the canton of Basle City, situated on the River Rhine where it turns through 90° to flow northwards. The river divides the city into Greater Basle (including the old town) on the left bank and Lesser Basle on the right. To the north lies the Upper Rhenish plain. Its location, beside both the French and German borders, has had a decisive influence on the city’s economic and cultural development. After the Church Council of Basle in 1431–48, the foundation of the university in 1460, and the development of the printing industry in Basle, the city became an important centre of humanism, attracting writers and artists, such as Erasmus and Hans Holbein II. In the 19th century the chair of art history was held successively by Jacob Burckhardt and Heinrich Wölfflin.

There is evidence of a settlement at Basle about 1200 bc, and further traces, from the 9th and 8th centuries ...



Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

[al-Baṣra, Basrah, Bassora]

City in Iraq, 420 km south-east of Baghdad on the Shatt al-‛Arab. In ad 638 the caliph ‛Umar (reg 634–44) ordered a military camp to be established, which developed into the old city of Basra. This city, which may have been on the site of ancient Diriditis (Teredon), was located near the present-day village of Zubayr, while modern Basra has developed about 20 km away near the site of Ubulla. The Muslim settlement first comprised rush huts, which were later replaced by simple brick buildings. Under Ziyad ibn Abi Sufyan, appointed governor in 665, burnt bricks and mortar were introduced and a new congregational mosque and residence for the governor constructed. Square in plan, the mosque had a prayer-hall roofed with teak planks resting on five rows of stone columns. The governor’s residence was built on the qibla side of the mosque and had direct communication with it.

Basra reached its apogee in the 8th century and the early 9th, when it was a great entrepôt with commercial links to India and Africa. It was also an important cultural and artistic centre. Fine metalwares were produced there: an early Islamic bronze ewer (Tbilisi, Mus. Georgia) bears an inscription stating that it was made in Basra by ...


T. F. C. Blagg and Evelyn Newby

[anc. Aquae Sulis]

City in the county of Avon, south-west England, on the River Avon, 16 km east of Bristol. It was founded soon after the Roman invasion of Britain in ad 43 as Aquae Sulis, and a bathing complex was built around its hot springs during the 1st century ad, with additions and modifications during the 2nd and 3rd centuries. The town was captured in 577 by the Saxons, who called it Hat Bathu (‘at the baths’). In the 18th century Bath became a famous spa and fashionable resort, particularly after visits by Queen Anne in 1702 and 1703. Subsequently the city’s social life as well as its streets and squares of elegant Georgian architecture continued to attract seasonal visitors from across Britain. Thomas Gainsborough was among the portrait painters who worked there in its heyday.

T. F. C. Blagg

The town of Aquae Sulis (Lat.: ‘the waters of Sulis’) was named after three natural hot springs that rise on a low hill between the steep limestone escarpment of Lansdown to the north and a bend in the River Avon; the native cult of the goddess Sulis (or Sul) was connected with the spring, as is indicated by Celtic coins found there (now Bath, Roman Baths Mus.). The Romans favoured the area because of its position at the lowest point at which the Avon could be forded before it became tidal; this became important as the Roman road system was constructed, the town lying at the intersection of the Fosse Way (the main north-east to south-west route) with the roads from London and Silchester to the east, Dorchester to the south and the Bristol Channel to the west. Altars and tombstones (Bath, Roman Baths Mus.) record a mixed clientele, including soldiers, magistrates, slaves and visitors from other provinces, all of them attracted to the mineral springs. The decision to build a large-scale complex of buildings around them (...


Sylvia Habermann and Walter Spiegl

German city in northern Bavaria. It lies on the Roter Main River, c. 80 km north-east of Nuremberg. A university city, it is noted particularly for its 18th-century architecture and for the Festspielhaus built in the 1870s for the performance of Richard Wagner’s operas.

Sylvia Habermann

Founded in the 12th century by the dukes of Meranien, Bayreuth is first documented in 1194. When the family died out in the mid-13th century, the town and surrounding area passed to the Hohenzollerns, then Burgraves of Nuremberg (later Margraves of Brandenburg), becoming the inheritance of a cadet branch. Medieval Bayreuth was an unimportant town, populated mainly by artisans and town-dwelling farmers. Such few works of art as were required, for example altars, paintings and sculpture for the town parish church of the Holy Trinity and the hospital church, were largely imported from Nuremberg and Regensburg.

The town’s status changed completely when Markgraf Christian of Kulmbach-Bayreuth inherited the title in ...


E. B. Sarewitz, Stephen Murray, Michael W. Cothren and Chantal Gastinel-Coural

French city, préfecture of the Oise département. It lies at the confluence of the rivers Therein and Avelon, 76 km north-west of Paris, and it has a population of c. 54,000. Roman Caesaromagus was built over the capital of the vanquished Bellovaci. Surrounded by fertile farmland, Beauvais was populous and prosperous by 1015 when Roger of Champagne (reg 1015–22) became the first bishop–count. Enriched by agriculture and the cloth trade, successive bishops were generous patrons, endowing monasteries and collegiate churches and building such architecturally precocious churches as St Lucien (1095–1140; destr. 1791–1819) and St Etienne (rebuilt after 1180–1220), culminating in the overreaching ambition of the cathedral of St Pierre (begun 1225; see §1, (i) below). The episcopate of Philip of Dreux (reg 1175–1217), ardent crusader and companion in arms of King Philip II Augustus (reg 1180–1223), marked the beginning of political and social change. It was the ...



Henrik H. Sørensen

[Peking, Pei-ching; formerly Dadu]

Capital city of China, located between the Yongding and the Chaobai rivers in the north-east of Hebei Province. It is sheltered from the north-east anti-clockwise to the south-west by the Yan shan (‘Fragrant hills’) mountain ranges, which enclose the city in a horseshoe form. To the south and east the North China Plain extends all the way to the delta of the Yangzi River in the south. Some 150 km directly east of the city is the Gulf of Bohai. From early times Beijing’s location on the north–south trade routes has been an economic advantage, but because it has such a large population the city has always had to transport food from considerable distances. Moreover, lying just inside the Great Wall it has been over-exposed to attack from the north-east.

There is evidence that the early human Peking Man lived near the site of modern Beijing more than 500,000 years ago, although more detailed archaeological evidence of settlement in the area only dates back to the 3rd millennium ...


Roberto Pontual

Brazilian city, capital of Pará state. Built c. 130 km from the Atlantic Ocean on the Baia de Marajó, the southern estuary of the Amazon delta, the city (1994 population 1,244,688) is the chief port and commercial centre of northern Brazil and has several fine Neo-classical buildings. Founded by the Portuguese in 1616 as a defensive outpost for the Amazon region, its remote location and difficulty of access left it largely isolated from the rest of Brazil until the end of the 18th century, although it developed a prosperous spice trade with Europe during this period. Early buildings include the Jesuit church of S Francisco Xavier (1719), which replaced two earlier buildings on the site and has an interior with rich gilt wood-carving. Significant urban development took place in Belém in the 1750s and after, when a mission of scientists, architects and draughtsmen arrived in the region to demarcate the Portuguese–Spanish frontier established by the Treaty of Madrid (...



Paul Larmour

Capital city of Northern Ireland since partition in 1922. The town developed on the Co. Antrim shore of Belfast Lough, into which the River Lagan debouches. During the Plantation of Ulster, Belfast was among the 52 townlands held by Sir Arthur Chichester (1563–1625), Lord Deputy of Ireland, who built a tall manor house there (1611; destr. 1708). The town was constituted a corporation by charter of James I. It remained a provincial market town until 1757, when Arthur Chichester, 5th Earl of Donegal, succeeded to the trusteeship. He proved to be a generous benefactor, contributing both sites and buildings, notably Clifton House, formerly the Poor House (opened 1774; extended in the 19th century), the city’s oldest building. This is a brick-built Palladian villa in appearance, complete with link blocks and end pavilions, and it was worked up from an original scheme of Robert Mylne’s by a local amateur, ...


Paul Tvrtković

[Serb.-Croat. Beograd; anc. Singidunum]

Capital of Serbia on the confluence of the River Sava and River Danube. The first Neolithic settlement was followed by Celtic and Roman ones. The Roman castrum was founded in ad 96 by the emperor Domitian on a plateau above the River Sava. As the frontier of the Roman Empire it was frequently under attack, and in ad 441 it was completely destroyed by the Huns under Attila (d ad 453); it was reconstructed immediately afterwards and encircled by fortifications. In the 12th century, the settlement spread out beyond the city walls towards the Danube. In 1521 Belgrade fell to the Ottoman Turks, who totally altered the character of the city. In the 17th century it is said to have had a population of 98,000. The Turks constructed many public buildings and mosques; the 17th-century Bajrakli Mosque and the Sahat-Kula on Kalemegdan still survive.

After the Austrian victories over the Turks in the years ...


Gordon Campbell

French centre of ceramics production. A pottery was founded in the village of Bellvue (near Toul, in Meurthe-et-Moselle) in 1758. In 1771 it passed into the hands of Charles Bayard (former director of the Lunéville pottery) and François Boyer, who in 1773 were given the right to style the pottery ‘Manufacture Royale de Bellevue’. Bayard left in ...


Gordon Campbell


English centre of ceramics production. A pottery was founded in the town of Hull (near what is now the Albert Dock) in 1802; the proprietors included Job Ridgway family. It soon closed, but in 1826 it was bought by William Bell, who called it Bellevue; it closed in 1841. The factory produced large quantities of earthenware, much of which was exported to Germany through the Company’s depot in Hamburg. Very few examples of its wares survive; some are marked Belle Vue....