History of the Old English Cemetery: a new page of the blog. Wednesday, Feb 22 2012 


The survey of the Old English Cemetery of Livorno which I began in 2009 and my subsequent analysis of the data has revealed an elevated amount of discrepancies. Some examples are: the position of the existing tombstones not matching the complete survey made in 1906 (see below), the great number of missing slabs and tombstones, the astonishing collages of inscription fragments mounted together with no apparent logic, some artistically/historically incoherent monuments, the total loss of the iron railings that were enclosing a number of graves, the mysteriously empty areas, the enormous quantities of debris, dumping material and objects found everywhere, etc…

The very limited local bibliography on the subject lacks any detail on the history of the cemetery, and gives only opinions and hypotheses. It relays unreliable information from previous books and articles and transmits oral statements of unknown origins. Everything about this place has always been uncertain, from the year of its foundation (historians have dated it anywhere from 1594 to 1737), to the events of World War II. On the other hand, Prof. Stefano Villani has provided some very interesting evidence about the enclosure of the cemetery and other documents related to the first hundred years of the burial ground’s existence. I recently discovered the testament of a Leghorn merchant which finally establishes, for the first time, the year of the foundation of this cemetery (see related article on this blog).

Read the new page: History of the Old English Cemetery of Livorno: an outline.

Dutch-German Church of Livorno: who paid to build it? (part 4) Sunday, Sep 25 2011 

This is the fourth and last part of the article about the  contributors for the construction of the Dutch-German temple of Livorno (1862-1864). The preceeding three parts described the different categories of donors: members of the Congregation, livornese people not members and foreign contributors. This part focuses on captains of ships sailing in and out of the harbour of Livorno who were persuaded, or chose, to contribute to the building of a protestant church. The list contains ship names as well.

Generally speaking, donations are lower than those made by the other contributors, apart from two or three cases which, (more…)

Dutch-German Church of Livorno: who paid to build it? (part 3) Wednesday, Sep 14 2011 

This is the last but one part of the article about the funding of the Dutch-German Church of Livorno (1862-1864). The previous two parts (see part 1 – see part 2) covered the donors who were also members of the Congregation and the ‘Livornese’ donors who were not members. This third part deals with the ‘foreign’ donors’ list which includes a large number of institutions, individuals and organizations in many parts of Europe and Italy (Florence, Milan, Genoa, Carrara…).

The first series of names on this list are related to the protestant organization Gustav Adolf Verein (now Gustav Adolf Werk) in several central european cities. It was named after King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden and it was founded in 1832 in Leipzig as a relief organization, mainly committed to helping protestant religious minorities in many countries and encouraging dialogue with other religions. The list continues with a number of congregations followed by German/Swiss evangelical societies, as well as some german Senate and Government institutions (Hamburg, Bremen and Hannover). Lastly, some cities where money was collected are listed, among which Rotterdam and Geneva which contributed generously.

The list shows also two significant donations: that made by (more…)

Dutch-German Church of Livorno: who paid to build it? (part 2) Thursday, Sep 8 2011 

This is the second part dedicated to the contributors for the construction of the Dutch-German Church of Livorno (1862-1864). The first part presented the list of contributors who were also members of the Dutch-German Congregation, the following list presents the contributors from (more…)

Dutch-German Church of Livorno: who paid to build it? (part 1) Tuesday, Sep 6 2011 

The Dutch-German Church (or Temple) of Livorno was built between 1862-1864 to a project by architect Dario Giacomelli, in the Neo-Gothic style. In the Labronica library of Livorno we found a small brochure entitled “Balance statement for the construction of the Dutch-German Congregation Church”  dated 1867, 3 years after the church was built. The brochure represents a very interesting piece of history being a sort of snapshot of the foreign protestant community of Livorno at that time with several lists of contributors for the building of the church and the expenses related to its construction.

In this part I present the first list of +54 contributors, composed of those who (more…)

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