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Home / Guide / Discover the area / People, History, Traditions / Famous people / Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta

Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta


Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, leader and lord of Rimini (1417-1468)
 

Strong, cultured, passionate, open-minded, impulsive and beautiful: this is the image of Sigismondo.
The illegitimate son of Pandolfo III Malatesta ( Lord of Brescia) and Antonia da Barignano, was born on June 19, 1417 almost certainly in Brescia. At the age of ten, orphan of his father, he came to Rimini with his brothers Galeotto Roberto and Domenico, to the court of his uncle Carlo Malatesta; the latter, without heirs, received the three nephews under his protection and obtained the legitimacy from the pope. In 1429, at the death of Carlo, the eldest son Galeotto Roberto inherited the Lordship, but two years later he abandoned the social life and left the power to the very young Sigismondo. 
In 1433 Sigismondo was knighted by the old Emperor Sigismund of Luxembourg. In 1434 he married Ginevra, daughter of Niccolò d'Este. Sigismondo, who had shown very precocious military attitudes, became one of the most able and valiant captains of pontifical arms and was appointed Gonfalonier of the Holy See. In 1437 the construction of Castel Sismondo began. In 1440, dead Ginevra, Francesco Sforza offered Sigismondo the hand of his daughter Polissena. In 1448 Polissena was dead; Sigismondo, who since 1446 had a relationship with the very young Isotta degli Atti, could finally make it public (Sigismondo and Isotta got married in 1456).
In 1449 begun the radical rebuilding of the interior of the church of San Francesco, the future Malatesta Temple; in 1450 the design of the exterior had been entrusted to Leon Battista Alberti. The years after 1450 constituted the moment of greatest splendor of the court of Sigismondo, who surrounded himself with artists and intellectuals: Alberti, Piero della Francesca, Agostino di Duccio, Matteo dè Pasti, Roberto Valturio, Basinio di Parma and numerous others.
In 1459 was elected Pope Pius II, hostile to Sigismondo, who imposed to Pandolfo humiliating conditions at the congress of Mantua. Wounded in pride, Sigismondo rebelled against the Pope, who excommunicated him in 1460 and allied himself with Federico da Montefeltro, the mortal enemy of Malatesta. Crushed by the coalition, Sigismondo was deprived of all its dominions and kept only the city of Rimini. In 1464 he went to Morea, to fight against the Turks; he returned home in 1466, after  of Pius II's death.
Sigismondo died on 7 October 1468 and was buried in the Malatesta Temple, which the vicissitudes of his last years had not allowed him to complete.

 

Last update date: 09/10/2018 - 16:50