The town of Gemona, which dates back to pre-Roman times, became world famous for the wrong reasons when it was at the centre of the 1976 earthquake and is still used as a symbol of Friuli’s rebirth. Porta Udine is the only door that remains of the old fifteenth century city walls. Next to it is the Duomo of Santa Maria Assunta, dating back to 1290 with a splendid façade that merges Romanesque and Gothic styles. On the right is the enormous statue of San Cristoforo and the gallery of nine statues depicting the Epiphany. The central rose window, fourteenth century altarpiece and fifteenth century wooden cross are magnificent.
Since 1989 Gemona has housed the Laboratorio internazionale della comunicazione (international communication laboratory). The project runs Italian language and culture courses for foreigners through a programme of seminars, concerts and film screenings. In 1990 the Gamajun International Award was founded for eminent artistic and cultural figures. Gemona dei Friuli is part of the area’s eco-museum project. The Eco-museum of Water conserves a rich cultural heritage: it is a museum which values places, buildings and activities, a community of people who work so that memories, knowledge and traditions will not be lost.