Battle of Novara (1513)

Illustration of the Battle of Novara in the cronicle of Johannes Stumpf, 1548

Battle of the War of the League of Cambrai fought on 6 June 1513, near Novara, in Northern Italy.

- Battle of Novara (1513)

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Capital city of the province of Novara in the Piedmont region in northwest Italy, to the west of Milan.

Roman walls in Novara.
The Ossuary of Bicocca, in memory of the Battle of Novara
View of Novara
Church of San Nazzaro della Costa
Rice fields around the city
Novara seen from the S11 trunk road
The cupola of the Basilica of San Gaudenzio, symbol of Novara, is {{convert|121|m|ft}} high.
Novara Cathedral
The Broletto

In the Battle of Novara in 1513, Swiss mercenaries defending Novara for the Sforzas of Milan routed the French troops besieging the city.

War of the League of Cambrai

Fought from February 1508 to December 1516 as part of the Italian Wars of 1494–1559.

Northern Italy in 1494; by the start of the war in 1508, Louis XII had expelled the Sforza from the Duchy of Milan and added its territory to France.
Pope Julius II, painted by Raphael (oil on wood, c. 1511). Julius attempted to secure Papal authority in Italy by creating the League of Cambrai, an alliance aimed at curbing Venetian power.
Alfonso I d'Este, Duke of Ferrara; excommunicated by Julius, he inflicted a number of defeats on the Papal forces
Pope Julius II on the walls of the conquered city of Mirandola (oil on canvas by Raffaello Tancredi, 1890, City Hall of Mirandola)
The death of Gaston de Foix during the Battle of Ravenna heralded a long period of defeats for France.
In 1515, the Franco-Venetian alliance decisively defeated the Holy League at the Battle of Marignano.
The Triumph of Venice (oil on canvas by Pompeo Batoni, 1737) depicts Leonardo Loredan, Doge of Venice during the war.

6 June 1513: Battle of Novara (1513). Milanese–Swiss victory over France.

Swiss mercenaries

Swiss mercenaries (Reisläufer) were notable for their service in foreign armies, especially the armies of the Kings of France, throughout the Early Modern period of European history, from the Later Middle Ages into the Age of Enlightenment.

Swiss mercenaries crossing the Alps (Luzerner Schilling)
The Swiss (on the left) assault the Landsknecht mercenaries in the French lines at the Battle of Marignano
Battle of Ravenna, (woodcut by unknown artist, 16th century)
Soldier and officer of the Swiss Guards in French service in 1757
Storming of the Tuileries Palace 1792
The Lion Monument in Lucerne, Switzerland, commemorates the sacrifice of the Swiss Guards at the Tuileries in 1792.
Swiss soldiers during the Napoleonic Wars
Soldiers of a Swiss regiment in French service during the Revolution of 1830.
Historial reenactment of the 3rd Swiss Regiment Reding in Spanish service
Flag of the regiment de Meuron

Despite the competition from the Landsknechts, and imitation by other armies (most notably the Spanish, which adopted pike-handling as one element of its tercios), the Swiss fighting reputation reached its zenith between 1480 and 1525, and indeed the Battle of Novara, fought by Swiss mercenaries, is seen by some as the perfect Swiss battle.

Louis II de la Trémoille

French general.

Portrait of Louis II de la Trémoille by Domenico Ghirlandaio or one of his assistants
Louis II de La Trémoille in an ancient engraving.
Louis II de la Trémoille and Gabrielle de Bourbon.

He suffered a severe defeat at the Battle of Novara (1513), in which his 10,000-strong army was ambushed by 13,000 Swiss mercenaries.

La Trémoille family

French noble family from Poitou whose name comes from the village La Trimouille in the départment of Vienne.

Arms of the family: Or, a chevron Gules, accompanied by three eaglets azure beaked and membered gules.

Defeated and wounded fighting the Swiss at Novarra in 1513, he redeemed his reputation by raising the siege of Marseilles against the Constable de Bourbon's Imperial troops in 1523 before being killed at the Battle of Pavia in 1524.

List of battles (alphabetical)

Alphabetical list of historical battles (see also Military history, Lists of battles):

Herodotus (c. 484 BC–c. 425 BC), often considered the "father of history" in the Western world

Battle of Novara (1513) – War of the League of Cambrai

Italian Wars

The Italian Wars, also known as the Habsburg–Valois Wars, refers to a series of conflicts covering the period 1494 to 1559 that took place in the Italian peninsula.

Detail of a tapestry depicting the Battle of Pavia with the alleged portrait of Galeazzo Sanseverino, woven from a cartoon by Bernard van Orley (c. 1531).
Italy after the 1454 Peace of Lodi
Italy in 1494
Louis XII
Emperor Maximilian, circa 1508
Pope Julius II, architect of the League of Cambrai
The election of Emperor Charles V meant France was surrounded by Habsburg territories on three sides (Red=Spain, Yellow=Austria)
Francis I of France, whose personal enmity with Charles V was a major factor in the wars
Emperor Charles V, circa 1548
Suleiman the Magnificent, whose alliance with France led to Ottoman intervention in the wars
Henry II of France, who succeeded his father in 1547
Italy in 1559.
Arquebusier using a rest (1876 representation)
French heavy cavalry, early 16th century

In March, Venice and France formed an alliance, but from June to September 1513 the League won victories at Novara and La Motta in Lombardy, Guinegate in Flanders and Flodden in England.


Southern Swiss town and municipality in the district Locarno (of which it is the capital), located on the northern shore of Lake Maggiore at its northeastern tip in the canton of Ticino at the southern foot of the Swiss Alps.

Harbor of Locarno. Trade along the lake allowed Locarno to flourish
Swiss Confederation in 1530, showing Locarno and other territories of the Ticino region
Castello Visconteo
Vineyards above Locarno
Piazza Grande
Aerial view from 800 m by Walter Mittelholzer (1919)
Old city of Locarno
Madonna del Sasso.
Locarno strand
Office building in Locarno
Church of S. Antonio Abate
Otto Braun, 1930
Mirko Ellis, 1953
Oliver Neuville, 2014
Castello Visconteo
Castello Visconteo
Santa Maria in Selva mural
Santa Maria in Selva mural
Locarno from above - Panorama 050622
Locarno from above - Panorama 050622

After the battle of Novara in 1513, the French King Louis XII gave the Confederates the castle.

Gian Giacomo Trivulzio

Italian aristocrat and condottiero who held several military commands during the Italian Wars.

Plaquette or square medal by Cristoforo Foppa (d. 1527)
Gian Giacomo Trivulzio.
Wellhead with the armorial devices of Trivulzio and Sforza (Palazzo Trivulzio, Milan).

Trivulzio also took part in the victorious Battle of Agnadello against the Republic of Venice, and commanded contingents of the French army at Novara and (this time allied with the Venetians against the Swiss) Marignano.

Battle of Marignano

The last major engagement of the War of the League of Cambrai and took place on 13–14 September 1515, near the town now called Melegnano, 16 km southeast of Milan.

Francis I Orders His Troops to Stop Pursuing the Swiss, a Romantic 19th century work by Alexandre-Évariste Fragonard (Galerie des Batailles, Palace of Versailles)
Swiss mercenaries and German Landsknechts fighting for glory, fame, and money at Marignano (1515). The bulk of the Renaissance armies was composed of mercenaries.
The battlefield of Marignano, drawing by Urs Graf, himself a Swiss mercenary who may have fought there.
Rudolfus Longus à Salis, of Soglio, sometime Governor of Pavia, killed at Marignano 1515.
Contemporary depiction of the battle, attributed to the Maître à la Ratière
Dying Swiss, sketch by Ferdinand Hodler (ca. 1898) for his Retreat from Marignano fresco (1900).

The Swiss had taken control of Milan (for France the gateway to Italy) after their victory at the Battle of Novara (1513), and returned to its ducal throne Massimiliano, son of Ludovico Sforza, the last duke of the House of Sforza to rule independent Milan, as their puppet.