Today is #LostSavoySunday: just a pic to remember lost palaces, villas or simply dreams of the House of Savoy.
Reggia di Venaria, Torino / Turin.
During the Nine Years' War (1688-1697) between Louis XIV of France and a European-wide coalition of Austria and the Holy Roman Empire, the Dutch Republic, Spain, Britain, and the Duchy of Savoy, the Reggia di Venaria was ransacked and partly destroyed by the army of French commander Nicolas Catinat. Duke Vittorio Amedeo II, later first King of the House of Savoy, immediately commissioned Michelangelo Garove to draw up a new design to rebuild and enlarge the original palace and its gardens. A new style emerged in that renovation, oriented to the contemporary French architecture rather than the Italian baroque of the former residence. The plans were even sent to Robert De Cotte, architect of King Louis XIV, in order to obtain opinions and indications to improve the design. The pictures show
- the façade overlooking the central axis of the garden;
- a cross section of the two side galleries and the main façade in the cour d'honneur;
- the south façade with the Galleria Grande, later redesigned and achieved by Filippo Juvarra (the construction of the twin gallery on the north side never started);
- the floor plan of the main Piano Nobile (that in Venaria is the ground floor).
This whole renovation of the palace only partially came to end, due to many different reasons, including wars, lack of money, interest in new residences (Stupinigi above all) and other buildings of the palace itself (the orangery and the stables).
The huge palace we can see today clearly shows its different building phases, from the original villa of Castellamonte to the refined interventions of Alfieri, through the vivid sign of Juvarra.
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