About Venaria Reale

Venaria Reale, also known as La Venaria Reale, is one of the largest royal palaces in the whole world, and a visit to this magnificent complex is sure to transport you back in time. A recognised UNESCO World Heritage Site, Venaria Reale is also said to be the largest cultural restoration project ever taken in Europe. This grand estate is located close to the 17th century village of Venaria, and is one of the best natural and architectural masterpieces of the European style.

In addition to a baroque royal palace, Venaria Reale also boasts of a stunning gardens, in addition to many intricate sculptures, frescoes, paintings and tapestries, among other things. It is here where you can find some of the finest examples of Baroque art. These include the Hall of Diana, the Great Gallery as well as the Church of St. Hubert, in addition to the Juvarra Stables and several fountains, all of which give you a glimpse not just into the Venaria Reale history, but also the age-old heritage of Turin.

History of Venaria Reale

Juvarra Stables
1658-1699: An estate for Hunting and Leisure

The Venaria Reale history begins around the mid-17th century, from 1658 onwards, which is when Duke Carlo Emanuele II and Duchess Maria Giovanna Battista commissioned the construction of this stunning estate, which would serve as one of their many stately houses. Court architect Amedeo di Castellamonte was appointed to design the estate, which would include a palace, a park, as well as a hunting ground and a village. It would also include many fountains, staircases as well as terraces located on different levels.

Water Theater of the Fontana del Cervo
1699-1798: The Palace of Kings. A Court for the Sovereign

After a design for the estate was made in the late 1690s, architect Michelangelo Garove, according to the Venaria Reale history, redesigned the entire complex into an even more stunning estate. The gardens were redesigned in the French style of architecture by taking inspiration from the famous Gardens of Versailles. It is also when the Duke became the King, and then, in 1716, he commissioned for the expansion of the estate. By 1739, plans were made to connect the different sections of the estate via galleries and other spaces, and a covered riding ground and stables were also made. The estate would then remain the home of the king until the decline of the Ancient Regime.

Church of Sant'Uberto
1798-1999: Military Barracks and Decline

Between 1798 and 1999, the Venaria Reale served as the military barracks, which happened after the arrival of Napoleon. The king fled from the estate and the original layout of the gardens were completely destroyed to be transformed into a military drill ground. The fountains, sculptures and flowerbeds were replaced by muskets, cannons, guns and horses. Instead of lush greenery, you could only see uniformed troops, and even Italian soldiers during the two World Wars. After the departure of the military, vandals destroyed whatever was left of the palace.

History of Venaria Reale Gardens
1999-2007: The Restoration Project

The Venaria Reale history states that the restoration of the estate and its gardens began between the late 20th and early 21st centuries. The project was commissioned by the Ministry for the Cultural Heritage, with the support of the European Union and the Ministry for the Economy. A lot of the decorations, archaeological findings, frescoes and other elements were brought back to life using modern restoration techniques, thereby making this project the largest cultural restoration project ever undertaken in the European continent. The Restoration Project recovered over 9500 square metres of stucco work and 1000 square metres of frescoes, in addition to completely revamping the 50 hectares Garden areas.

The Palace Of Venaria.jpg
From 2007: The Rebirth

According to the Venaria Reale history, the rebirth of this estate took place in 2007, when the Reggia and its Gardens were inaugurated and made open for the public. Numerous permanent displays, exhibitions, concerts and art performances and even entertainment events were organised here for the people to take a glimpse into what this magnificent estate once used to look like. A cinema by Peter Greenaway and sculptures by Giuseppe Penone were also added during this time.


When was Venaria Reale built?

    The Venaria Reale was built in the year 1658 by the will of Carlo Emanuele II, who was the Duke of Savoy. He appointed court architect Amedeo di Castellamonte to design, and then build the estate.

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