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This is about the Italian city of Milan. For other uses, see Milan (disambiguation).
Milan (Milano in the Italian language, from Latin, mediolanum with the meaning of 'in the middle of the plain') is the main city in northern Italy, and is located in the plains of Lombardy, one of the most developed Italian regions. It has about 1.3 million inhabitants, but the urban area totals about 4 million. It is the capital of the region and is by some defined as the economic capital of Italy. It has for many centuries been recorded as Mailand, which is still the German name of the city today.
Its province lies in the western part of Lombardy; it covers an area of 1,982 sq. km and has a population of 3,707,210 (2001 census); in 1991 the population was 3,738,685. The province comprises 188 communes, ranging in population (2001) from (obviously) Milan (1,256,211) to Nosate (638); the commune of Milan has lost 113,084 inhabitants (8,3%), from 1991 to 2001.
The main monuments and museums include the Gothic cathedral (the famous Duomo di Milano), the Romanesque church of Sant' Ambrogio (St. Ambrose, patron saint of the city), the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie (where the Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper fresco is located), the Sforza Castle, the Brera Museum, the Poldi-Pezzoli Museum and the Central Station.
After the Ostrogothic and Lombard periods, the city re-gained its importance in the 11th century and led other Italian cities in gaining semi-independence from the Holy Roman Empire. During the Plague of 1349 Milan is one of the few places in Europe that was not touched by the epidemic. During the Renaissance Milan was ruled by dukes of the Visconti and Sforza families, who had artists like Leonardo da Vinci and Bramante at their service. After trying to conquer the rest of northern Italy in the 15th century, Milan was conquered by France, and then by Spain, in the early 16th century.
In the 18th century Austria replaced Spain as Milan's overlord, but after the French revolution and the Napoleonic wars the city became one of the main centres of Italian nationalism, reclaiming independence and the unification of Italy.
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