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Castello San Giorgio, Mantova
San Georgio Castle in Mantova
Bartolino designed the castle in such a way as to raise it at the entrance of bridge for further protection. It was a point from which the entire basin of the lake could be observed. This made it a perfect place for refuge in case of an attack. The castle was designed on a square plan. There were four towers at every corner, along with drawbridges and three doors. Originally the castle was built only for defense purposes but it soon became a part of the Palazzo Ducale. Luca Fancelli from Florence designed the beautiful renaissance style portico which surrounds the castle on two sides. This portico itself is again surrounded by the northern courtyard.
The History of Castello San Giorgio, or Castle of Saint George
The castle was the residence for years of Isabella d'Esta, the wife of Francesco Gonzaga. Isabella was a lover of literature and arts and was always found in the company of noted men like Baldasasare Castiglione, Ludovico Ariosto, Leonardo da Vinci, Perugino and Andrea Mantegna. Today, the castle is a major venue for various cultural events and exhibits, and can be visited by tourists.
The Castle of Saint George
The Hall of Suns is decorated with various plant motifs. The famous Bridal Chamber used to be the destination of various visitors like Duke d'Este and Lucrezia Borgia along with many others.
The Bridal chamber is the most well known room in the castle and is located on the northeast tower which is also known as Camera Picata interamante. This room had been decorated with frescoes by Mantegna from the year 1465 till 1474. The frescoes in the room are the only surviving works done by the artist in the city.
The bridal chamber represents the solemnity of the Gonzaga court. On the wall with the chimney are the representations of the family of Marquis Ludovico gathered for a meeting and a ceremony along with Cardinal Francesco. At the center of the large ceiling there is a monochrome which depicts various Roman emperors. There is a balustrade which overlooks cherubs and girls done in peacock blue and black. The room used to be the bedroom of King Ludwig II and the precious canopy is still supported by the hooks. The frescoes in the room are precious and have been restored with great care.
Mantua is a city located in the Lombardy region of Italy. During the 12th century, three artificial lakes were created, that surround the city on three sides. These lakes receive water from Mincio which descends from Lake Garda. The three lakes are Lago Inferiore, Lago di Mezzo and Lago Superiore. There had once been a fourth lake called Lake Pajolo which completed the defensive lakes but it finally dried in the 18th century.
The beautiful Palazzo Te was built in the year 1525 by Giulio Romano. The style of the palace is late Renaissance with elegant touches of post Raphaelian. The palace was the summer residence of Frederick II of the Gonzaga family. Today it is home to the Civic Museum which has a large collection donated by Arnoldo Mondadori, an important publisher along with Ugo Sissa, an architect working in Iraq. Sissa donated several Mesopotamian artworks to the museum.
The church was built in the Renaissance style on the orders of Ludovico II Gonzaga. Work on the church began in the year 1462 as per the designs of Leon Battista Alberti. The church was built at the site of an older Benedictine monastery. The original bell tower of the monastery still remains. It took more than 328 years for the construction of the church to be completed. Several changes were done to the main design but the church is still considered to be one of the best works of Alberti.