Palazzo Vecchio

The Palazzo Vecchio is the town hall of Florence, Italy. It overlooks the Piazza della Signoria, which holds a copy of Michelangelo's David statue, the gallery of statues in the adjacent Loggia dei Lanzi. Called the Palazzo della Signoria, after the Signoria of Florence, the ruling body of the Republic of Florence, this building was known by several other names: Palazzo del Popolo, Palazzo dei Priori, Palazzo Ducale, in accordance with the varying use of the palace during its long history; the building acquired its current name when the Medici duke's residence was moved across the Arno River to the Palazzo Pitti. In 1299, the commune and people of Florence decided to build a palace that would be worthy of the city's importance, that would be more secure and defensible in times of turbulence for the magistrates of the commune. Arnolfo di Cambio, the architect of the Duomo and the Santa Croce church, began construction upon the ruins of Palazzo dei Fanti and Palazzo dell'Esecutore di Giustizia, once owned by the Uberti family.

Giovanni Villani wrote in his Nuova Cronica that the Uberti were "rebels of Florence and Ghibellines", stating that the palazzo was built to ensure that the Uberti family homes would never be rebuilt on the same location. The cubical building is made of solid rusticated stonework, with two rows of two-lighted Gothic windows, each with a trefoil arch. In the 15th century, Michelozzo Michelozzi added decorative bas-reliefs of the cross and the Florentine lily in the spandrels between the trefoils; the building is crowned with projecting crenellated battlement, supported by small arches and corbels. Under the arches are a repeated series of nine painted coats of arms of the Florentine republic; some of these arches can be used as embrasures for dropping heated rocks on invaders. The solid, massive building is enhanced by the simple tower with its clock. Giovanni Villani wrote that Arnolfo di Cambio incorporated the ancient tower of the Foraboschi family into the new tower's facade as its substructure.

This tower contains two small cells, that, at different times, imprisoned Cosimo de' Medici and Girolamo Savonarola. The tower is named after its designer Torre d'Arnolfo; the tower's large, one-handed clock was constructed in 1353 by the Florentine Nicolò Bernardo, but was replaced in 1667 with a replica made by Georg Lederle from the German town of Augsburg and installed by Vincenzo Viviani. Duke Cosimo I de' Medici moved his official seat from the Medici palazzo in via Larga to the Palazzo della Signoria in May 1540, signalling the security of Medici power in Florence; when Cosimo removed to Palazzo Pitti, he renamed his former palace to the Palazzo Vecchio, the "Old Palace", although the adjacent town square, the Piazza della Signoria, still bears the original name. Cosimo commissioned Giorgio Vasari to build an above-ground walkway, the Vasari corridor, from the Palazzo Vecchio, through the Uffizi, over the Ponte Vecchio to the Palazzo Pitti. Cosimo I moved the seat of government to the Uffizi.

The palace gained new importance as the seat of united Italy's provisional government from 1865–71, at a moment when Florence had become the temporary capital of the Kingdom of Italy. Although most of the Palazzo Vecchio is now a museum, it remains as the symbol and center of local government; the tower has three bells. Above the front entrance door, there is a notable ornamental marble frontispiece, dating from 1528. In the middle, flanked by two gilded lions, is the Monogram of Christ, surrounded by a glory, above the text: "Rex Regum et Dominus Dominantium" (translation: "King of Kings and Lord of Lords"; this text dates from 1851 and does not replace an earlier text by Savonarola as mentioned in guidebooks. Between 1529 and 1851 they were concealed behind a large shield with the grand-ducal coat of arms. Michelangelo's David stood at the entrance from its completion in 1504 to 1873, when it was moved to the Accademia Gallery. A replica erected in 1910 now stands in its place, flanked by Baccio Bandinelli's Hercules and Cacus.

The first courtyard was designed in 1453 by Michelozzo. In the lunettes, high around the courtyard, are crests of the church and city guilds. In the center, the porphyry fountain is by Battista del Tadda; the Putto with Dolphin on top of the basin is a copy of the original by Andrea del Verrocchio, now on display on the second floor of the palace. This small statue was placed in the garden of the Villa Medici at Careggi; the water, flowing through the nose of the dolphin, is brought here by pipes from the Boboli Gardens. In the niche, in front of the fountain, stands Samson and Philistine by Pierino da Vinci; the frescoes on the walls are vedute of the cities of the Austrian Habsburg monarchy, painted in 1565 by Giorgio Vasari for the wedding celebration of Francesco I de' Medici, the eldest son of Cosimo I de' Medici, to Archduchess Johanna of Austria, sister of the Emperor Maximilian II. Amongst the cities depicted are Graz, Linz, Bratislava, Hall in Tirol, Freiburg im Breisgau and Konstanz.

Some were damaged over the course of time. The harmoniously proportioned columns, at one time smooth, untouched, were at the same time richly decorated with gilt stuccoes; the barrel vaults are furnished with grotesque decorations. The second courtyar

J. H. Patel

Jayadevappa Halappa Patel was the 15th Chief Minister of Karnataka from 31 May 1996 to 7 October 1999. J. H. Patel was born on 1 October 1930 in Kariganur, now in Davanagere district, Karnataka. A Graduate in Law, he married Sarvamangala and had three sons Trishul and Mahima. J. H. Patel was imprisoned. A staunch socialist and an ardent follower of Ram Manohar Lohia, as a youth, he was inspired by Shantaveri Gopala Gowda. Patel's oratory skills left his mark on many, he remained a non-Congress leader throughout his life and was the one of the pillars of Janata Dal in Karnataka. He belongs to banajiga sub-sect of Lingayat community, he was elected to Lok Sabha from Shimoga constituency in 1967, was the first Kannadiga to table his debates in Kannada. Patel created history in Lok Sabha in 1967; the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Neelam Sanjiva Reddy allowed and encouraged Patel to go ahead with his speech. The house heard him with rapt attention; the Indian parliament had been active for 17 years and Patel became the first member to speak in a regional Indian language.

He did so in vindication of the eighth schedule of the Indian constitution in which all the great languages of India have been given a pride of Place. This prompted the Speaker of Lok Sabha, Sanjiva Reddy to decree in his famous ruling that henceforth any member of the Lok Sabha, inclined to exercise his/her inherent right to speak in his/her mother tongue would do so without any hindrance. Patel was imprisoned during the Emergency from 1975 to 1977, he was elected to the Karnataka Legislative Assembly from Channagiri constituency in 1978. He was elected for the second term in 1983, served as a cabinet minister in the Janata Party government headed by Ramakrishna Hegde. Patel served as a minister in S R Bommai's government, became the Deputy Chief Minister in 1994 when the Janata Dal returned to power under the leadership of H. D. Deve Gowda, he succeeded Gowda in 1996 following the latter's elevation to the post of Prime minister. He was the first Chief minister of Karnataka, never a member of the Indian National Congress.

The most significant achievement of Patel's government was the formation of seven new districts in the State, a long-delayed decision. His administration gave impetus to Information Technology and attracted foreign investment, his government was known for investing Rs. 4,800 crores on irrigation projects such as Ghataprabha, modernisation of Visvesvaraya Canal, work on Varuna Canal and near completion of the Alamatti Dam across the Krishna River. Patel witnessed turbulent days as Chief minister following the expulsion of his mentor Ramakrishna Hegde from the party and the split in the Janata Dal into the Janata Dal in which he remained, his political acumen came to fore when he deftly handled stiff dissidence from fellow partymen throughout his tenure. When party affairs took a turn for the worse, Patel stunned every one including his detractors by recommending dissolution of the state assembly, six months ahead of the assembly polls in 1999, he merged his faction with Hegde's Lok Shakti and entered into an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party.

In his last election, a young candidate Vadnal Rajanna defeated him and his party suffered a massive defeat. Patel died at the Manipal Hospital, Bangalore on 12 December 2000, he was buried with State honours at Kariganur. During his last days, Patel had been making efforts for the merger of the two Janata Dal factions, he was a witty leader, an astute politician and an acclaimed parliamentarian. A nonchalant leader, Patel endeared himself to his political adversaries by his affectionate and friendly attitude. A deft handler of any situation, Patel had the capability to withstand criticism and was endowed with abundant patience to dismiss them cheerfully. Official biographical sketch in Parliament of India website


Lisberg is a community in Bavaria, Germany. It is in the Upper Franconian district of Bamberg and a member of the administrative community of Lisberg, lying in the Steigerwald. Lisberg lies west of Bamberg. Lisberg’s main and namesake centre is the biggest of its Ortsteile, although Trabelsdorf is not much smaller; the community has these centres, each given here with its own population figure: Barbarahöhe: Lisberg: 998 Neumühle: 1 Trabelsdorf: 794 Triefenbach: 15The community has 2 traditional rural land units, known in German as Gemarkungen, named Lisberg and Trabelsdorf, the same names as 2 of the constituent communities. Lisberg is noticeable from far away for the Burg Lisberg; this castle had its first documentary mention in 820 in a donation document, it is among Germany’s oldest undestroyed castles. From 1600 to 1707, the Protestant line of the Barons of Münster held Lisberg as a fief, until 1790 the Catholic line did so; the castle is now owned. Concerts are sometimes held in the castle’s courtyard.

The palatial residence in the outlying centre of Trabelsdorf was acquired in 1664 by the Marshals of Ostheim and in 1700 it was newly built. It now houses the administrative community of a medical practice. With the Act of the Confederation of the Rhine in 1806, the Barons of Münster-Lisberg saw their overlordship pass to Bavaria; the community of Lisberg has existed since 1978, consisting of the two autonomous communities of Lisberg and Trabelsdorf. South of Lisberg can be found a Jewish graveyard on a plot of higher ground with some 130 gravestones. In Lisberg, about 1825, there were 17 Jewish families; the number had shrunk so by the early 20th century, that the synagogue was sold. Lisberg’s municipal council consists of 12 members besides the mayor, 6 of whom belong to the ÜPL, the other 6 of whom are CSU members. In 1999, municipal tax revenue, converted to euros, amounted to €640,000 of which business taxes amounted to €115,000. Lisberg is the venue for the so-called Donnersbergklassiker, a cycling race around the Steigerwald.