Residences of the Royal House of Savoy

 

Stupinigi Royal Hunting Palace

Emmanuel Philibert, the Duke of Savoy moved his capital to Turin in the year 1562. He then began a large project of a series of buildings and palaces to prove his power of ruling. These outstanding buildings had been designed and decorated by some of the best known artists of that era and radiated into the outskirts of Turin. The complex also includes various country homes and hunting lodges.

 

 

Some of the best known Royal Houses from this complex which have been included in the world heritage list are as given below:

 

The Royal Palace of Turin, Palazzo Reale

The Royal Palace of Turin is also known as Palazzo Reale and is among the most important palaces in the House of Savoy. The architecture of the palace was highly modernized by Christine Marie from France in the 17th century.

 

The work on the palace was done by Filippo Juvarra. The site where the palace is located once belonged to the Bishops Palace in Turin. From this location the Duke had the benefit of monitoring both the entrances to the city, the Pretoria and the Palatine gates. The older palace was abandoned. It had once been the residence of the Viceroys of France which were appointed after Savoy was captured in 1536.

 

Palazzo Vecchio which was located opposite the old Bishops palace was later taken up by the larger Ducal Palace.

 

Palazzo Madame e Casaforte degli Acaja

 

Venaria Royal Palace

Palazzo Madama is located in Turin. The site where the palace is located had once been the site of a large gate in the Roman Walls in the 1st century BC from where the Decumanus Maximum had departed.

 

 

Two towers were restored but they still symbolize the ancient nucleus. After the downfall of the Roman Empire the gate had been used as a fortification for defending the city. It was only later that the building was taken over by the House of Savoy in the 14th century.

 

The tower had then been enlarged and converted into a castle. The castle was rebuilt a hundred years later in a square shape and which has a portico and an inner courtyard.  There are four towers on each corner. After the Acajas had been extincted, the palace was then used for the guests of the Savoy.

 

 

Palazzo Carignano

The Carignan Palace or the Palazzo Carignano is located right in the center of the town of Turin. The palace is now home to the Museum of Risorgimento. It was originally a private residence which was used by the Prince of Carignan.

 

 

Venaria Royal Palce

The palace is known for its unique round façade. The construction of the palace had been started in 1679 on the order of Prince Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy who was the son of Thomas Francis.

 

 

The palace had been built on the design of Guarino Guarini who was a native architect. The architect designed a large structure which was in the shape of a square. The elliptical tower had been designed to be very lavish and unique and is slightly withdrawn on the western side. There is also a large court in the center of the palace.

 

The interior of the palace has always been known to be very lavish. The decorations over the windows in the piano nobile were in remembrance of the Carignano family's campaign with another regiment against Iroquois in the year of 1667.

 

The design of the palace is typical Baroque in red bricks and has a elliptical façade in the center. The palace was the birthplace of Princesse de Lamballe who was born in 1749. It was also famous as the birth place of Victor Emmanuel II who was the first ever King of Italy.

 

Castello del Valentino

Castello del Valentino or the Castle of Valentino is located in the center of the Valentino Park. Today, the castle belongs to the architectural faculty of the polytechnic college of Torino.

 

The castle had been one of the Royal Residences of the House of Savoy. The castle was originally bought by Emmanuel Philbert the Duke. The structure that is seen today was because of Princess Christine Marie who was the wife of Victor Amadeus. The princess had been living in the castle since 1630.

 

Architecture of the castle

 

Royal Palace

The castle has been built in the shape of a horseshoe and has four towers at each corner and a large inner court along with marble pavements. The ceilings of the upper floor are in French style. There is a large coat of arms on the façade. Work on the castle was only finished in 1660.

 

 

Some modifications were made to the castle in the 19th century and much of the furniture from the 17th century had been taken away by the French troops. The palace was abandoned for the next fifty years and deteriorated over the years. Various renovation works were done in the 19th century when it was passed on the engineering department of Turin.

 

Villa della Regina

Villa della Regina is located just outside Turin. The villa had been built in the 17th century. The original structure of the villa had been designed by Ascanio Vitozzi who was a soldier and an architect. After he died in 1615, the work was passed on to the son and the father.

 

The villa was built originally for Maurice of Savoy when his brother was in reign, the Duke of Savoy. The villa was built as a private residence and had a vineyard on its property. The villa was badly damaged during the Second World War. Today it has been kept open to public to be able to gather funds for its renovation and maintenance.

Apart from the Royal Houses and the residences that are mentioned above there are a total of fifteen villas and castles that had belonged to the family. Ten of such royal residences were located on the outskirts of the town.


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