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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Is it worth visiting Venaria Reale?
Yes, it is definitely worth visiting Venaria Reale. It is considered to be a major masterpiece of the Baroque style of architecture, and is also one of the largest royal estates in the whole world. It is here where you can discover stunning Baroque interiors and other elements of the 17th century, from marble decorations in the Galleria Grande to the Chapel of Saint Hubert and more.
Who built Venaria Reale?
The Venaria Reale was designed, and then subsequently built by Amedeo di Castellamonte, who was the court architect appointed by Carlo Emanuele II, the Duke of Savoy.
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What was the purpose of building Venaria Reale?
The Venaria Reale was built to serve as one of the state houses of the Duke and Duchess of Savoy, in addition to being a base for the Duke’s hunting trips and for his leisure.
What to see at Venaria Reale?
When visiting Venaria Reale, you can witness some of the major masterpieces of the Baroque style of art and architecture. In addition to seeing the Palace of Venaria, you can also admire the stunning stuccoes and frescoes here, whilst also marveling at the opulent rooms decorated with age-old paintings and tapestries. You must also see the Gardens here, which are home to well-manicured flower beds, several fountains and even sculptures. The estate is also home to a park, complete with a mini train, carriages on the gondola as well as a covered pavilion.
What is the best time to visit Venaria Reale?
The best time to visit Venaria Reale is during the early afternoon, around 12:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. It is during this time that you can expect a relatively lesser crowd here, and thereafter, explore the estate at your own pace. With the weather being pleasant at this time, you can also head out to spend some time in the Gardens.
How much time is required to visit Venaria Reale?
It takes anywhere between 3 to 4 hours to visit Venaria Reale. This includes the time taken to explore the palace and its royal rooms and halls, as well as the gardens, Masterpiece and other attractions inside the estate.