Palace of Venaria Reale

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
La Reggia di Venaria Reale

The Palace of Venaria Reale ( Italian Reggia di Venaria Reale , Piedmontese ël Castel 'dla Venarìa ) is one of the residences of the House of Savoy , which were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997 . It stands in the municipality of Venaria Reale north of Turin in the Italian region of Piedmont and is Italy's second largest castle after the Palace of Caserta , which is one of the largest in the world.

The name of the castle is derived from the Latin Venatio Regia , the royal hunt .

The complex includes the castle, the 60 hectare castle park, the historic village ( Borgo ) , which was formerly laid out for the staff of the castle and the 3,000 hectare Parco della Mandria , formerly the royal hunting ground, today a fenced nature and animal park area.


1658 to 1699: La Reggia di Diana, a hunting and pleasure palace

Old painting of the entire complex
Diana Castle

While Christina of France still ruled over the Duchy of Savoy , her son Charles Emanuel II of Savoy was looking for a base for his hunting expeditions in the hilly heathland north of Turin and in 1658 commissioned the Turin architect Amedeo di Castellamonte to build a hunting and pleasure palace. After he took over the government in 1663, the castle was also to become a monument for himself and Maria Giovanna Battista di Savoia-Nemours , who was married to him in 1665 .

The system was designed along a two kilometer long axis that began along the main street of the Borgo , today's Via Andrea Mensa , via the courtyard and the deer fountain ( Corte d'onore e Fontana del Cervo ) directly to the Diana Hall ( Sala di Diana ) in the castle, continued on the garden terrace and finally ran from the Hercules fountain ( Fontana d'Ercole ) in a long canal to the now no longer existing Diana temple.

Halfway down the main street, the Piazza della SS. Annunziata was laid out, the plan of which is modeled on the shape of the Order of the Annunciaten Order ( Ordine Supremo della Santissima Annunziata ), the highest order of the House of Savoy. On the north side of the square the Church of the Conception of the Virgin Mary ( Chiesa della Natività di Maria Vergine ) was built.

When Karl Emanuel died early in 1675, essential parts of the complex, in particular the castle, were largely completed. The construction work was completed by Maria Giovanna Battista di Savoia-Nemours, who ruled until her son Viktor Amadeus II came of age .

During the War of the Palatinate Succession ( Guerra della Grande Alleanza ), in which Viktor Amadeus II also took part, the troops fighting for Louis XIV under Marshal Nicolas de Catinat destroyed large parts of the palace in early October 1693 on their way to the Battle of Marsaglia .

1699 to 1798: Royal Palace

Torre del Belvedere

From 1699, Viktor Amadeus II had the palace rebuilt according to his ideas of a more grand palace by the architect Michelangelo Garove . The gardens were redesigned in the French style based on the model of the Palace of Versailles .

During the siege of Turin in 1706, however, the castle was again damaged by the billeted French troops. After Viktor Amadeus II received Sicily through the Peace of Utrecht in 1713 and with it the long-sought royal dignity (which he soon exchanged for the Kingdom of Sardinia ), after the death of Garove he commissioned the architect Filippo Juvarra to develop the complex into a royal one Palace. With the Great Gallery ( Galleria Grande ), the Capella di Sant'Uberto , the Orangery ( Citroneria ) and the Marstall ( Scuderia ), the palace became a masterpiece of baroque palace complexes.

After the death of Juvarra in 1736, Benedetto Alfieri was taken over by Karl Emanuel III in 1739 . appointed the king's first civil architect and commissioned to complete the complex with connecting structures, including the Scuderie Alferiane . Under Viktor Amadeus III. and Charles Emanuel IV. the castle continued to serve the royal court until Charles Emanuel IV. had to retreat to Sardinia from the French Revolutionary Army in 1798, thus ending the Antico regime .

1798 to 1999: military use and decline

From the beginning of the 19th century until the Second World War, the castle was used by the military as a barracks , riding school and horse breeding establishment , and the gardens as parade grounds. In addition, the veterinary school was temporarily housed there. After that it was left to its fate, everything that could be used disappeared.

1999 to 2007: restoration

In the years 1999 to 2007 the castle and its gardens including the historical Borgo and the Parco della Mandria were restored in one of the largest restoration projects in Europe with funds from various public institutions in Italy and with the support of the European Union. The Centro Conservazione e Restauro La Venaria Reale , which is active in the Scuderie Alferiane , emerged from the project .

Since 2007: The castle in public

The palace and its gardens have been open to the public since October 12, 2007. In addition to a permanent exhibition on the history of Savoy, numerous exhibitions, concerts and other, including private events take place.

The palace

Galleria Grande

The clock tower forms the entrance to the main courtyard and thus to the palace complex. Only foundation walls of the deer fountain in the center of the courtyard were found, it was replaced by a round water feature.

Diana's castle was expanded in the 18th century. Its central space is the Diana Room ( Sala di Diana ), which opens in both directions of the central axis on which the complex is based. It is decorated with various stucco work and allegorical representations, its ceiling is painted with frescoes by the Flemish painter Jan Miel (Giovanni Miele), on the walls there are paintings of the dukes and other nobles on horseback as well as various hunting scenes. The surrounding rooms were the Duke's private apartments in the 18th century; today they serve as a picture gallery. Some rooms have been restored in the style of the time.

The Great Gallery ( Galleria Grande ), begun by Michelangelo Garove and completed by Filippo Juvarra, occupies the south wing. The light-flooded room decorated with stucco ornaments is 80 m long, 12 m wide and 15 high. Above the windows reaching from the floor to almost the upper ledges are further small round windows in the beginning of the ceiling vault. These receive their light, barely noticeable for the viewer, from rectangular cavities behind them, which in turn are illuminated through larger windows in the outer walls. This creates a special effect that is similar to indirect lighting.

From the large gallery, further rooms furnished with paintings lead to the Torre del Belvedere with a group of marble statues. It is followed by the gallery leading south along the Gran Parterre , from which a corridor to the Capella di Sant'Uberto branches off after a few meters .

Capella di Sant'Uberto

The palace chapel, dedicated to Saint Hubertus , the patron saint of hunters, was also built by Juvarra between 1716 and 1729 at the request of Vittorio Amedeo II on the plan of a Greek cross . The designation as a chapel is a bit misleading, it is the size of a church. The main altar and the four statues of the Great Fathers of the Church are by Giovanni Baratta . Instead of a dome, the church only has a comparatively flat round roof. Inside, the roof is painted with a trompe-l'oeil that gives the impression of a dome with a lantern .

The large building called Scuderie Juvarriane , which closes the palace complex in the south, was built by Juvarra between 1722 and 1727 as an orangery ( Citroneria ) and a large stables ( Scuderia Grande ). The orangery is an imposing, 140 m long and 15 m wide hall with a barrel roof, the windows of which face south. The axis of the building is continued outside on the Gran Parterre by the Königliche Allee ( Allea Reale ), which leads between the rose gardens to the end of the palace gardens.

The two large inner courtyards, the Cortile delle Carozze and the Cortile dell'Abbeveratoio , are surrounded by other buildings belonging to the castle that are not accessible to the public, which, like the connection to the chapel and the adjoining southern gallery, were built by Benedetto Alfieri.

The gardens

Before the restoration, nothing of the gardens could be seen apart from the structure of the terrain. They were largely restored based on old plans mixed with modern elements; Areas further away from the castle will still be created.

The part on both sides of the Canale d'Ercole , which forms the central axis and leads to the northwest, was the oldest part, which, beyond the former Temple of Diana , about one kilometer from the castle, finds its natural border on the banks of the Torrente Ceronda .

Between the castle and the Ceronda, which runs north of it, lies the Parco Basso with the remains of the caves created by Castellamonte on a lower level . Next to it is the garden called Giardino delle Sculture Fluide with modern sculptures by Giuseppe Penone and the Peschiera , a rectangular pond with a shallow depth but a surface of around 240 m × 50 m, which Castellamonte created for the edification of the nobility, but which was later closed Garden areas was redesigned.

With the construction of the Galleria Grande , an additional, south-facing and higher garden ground floor was created in front of its windows , which together with the other adjacent gardens forms the Parco Alto .


  • Amedeo Castellamonte: La Venaria Reale: Palazzo de piacere, e de caccia, ideato dall'Altezza Reale di Carlo Emanuel II ... Bartolomeo Zappatta, Turin 1674 ( digitized on Google Books )

Web links

Commons : Reggia di Venaria Reale  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. La Venaria Reale ( Memento of the original from July 24, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , official website @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. Piazza della SS Annunziata e Chiesa della Natività di Maria Vergine on
  3. a b c d e La Reggia - Introduzione ( Memento of the original dated February 6, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. on the official website @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. ^ Notes on the military power of the Kingdom of Sardinia. 1847. In: Militair-Wochenblatt . Volume 32, Berlin 1848, p. 22 ( digitized version).
  5. ^ Centro Restauro La Venaria Reale
  6. I Giardini ( Memento of the original of July 28, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. on the official website @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /

Coordinates: 45 ° 8 ′ 9 "  N , 7 ° 37 ′ 24"  E