Il castle real of Racconigi is located in the province of Wedge, A short distance from Turin.
During its millennial history it underwent many changes and became the property of the Savoy in the second half of the fourteenth century. Later he was the official residence of the branch of the gods Savoy-Carignan and later it was elected seat of the "Royal Villas" of the royal family of the king of Sardinia, then king of Italy in summer and in autumn.
It became a cultural pole and very popular museum, it is part of the circuit of the Savoy residences of Piedmont, of the system Castles Open of the Lower Piedmont and from the 1997 is part of the serial site Savoy residences. It is also included in the list of World Heritage SitesUNESCO.
in 1372 Federico II of Saluzzo he gave the castle to the pledge Falletti accounts. After a few years he returned to the Marquis of Saluzzo and in the second half of the XIV century, an illegitimate son of the last Prince of Savoy-Achaia, he managed to get the feud and the Racconigi castle, thus beginning the Savoy-Racconigi dynasty.
in 1620 Carlo Emanuele I of Savoy he gave it to his son Tommaso Francesco di Savoia, the progenitor of the dynasty Savoy-Carignan. At the time the structure was that of a classic medieval castle and remained unchanged until the mid-seventeenth century, when he was subjected to a first re-arrangement at the behest of Tommaso's son, Emanuele Filiberto, who commissioned Carlo Guarini, in the 1676 the complete transformation of the fortress into "Villa of delights"
He raised a large central body with a "pagoda" roof and also, based on the two towers angulars of the facade In the north, it developed the two four-storey pavilions, surmounted by a quadrangular domed roof with white marble lanterns. The grandiose project of the Guarini not limited to the transformation of the building, but also thanks to the support of the French architect André Le Nôtre, the vast was also rearranged park.
in 1757 Ludovico Luigi Vittorio of Carignano commissioned to the Giovanni Battista Borra a further remarkable transformation based on taste neoclassic of the time, to which we owe the remaking of the facade southern with the addition of the prothyrum tetrastyle with columns Corinthian surmounted by the notched triangular pediment of inspiration Palladian and great staircase monumental.
The internal interventions, however, concerned the Salon of Hercules Diana's Room and the preparation of the rooms of theChinese Apartment, decorated with precious wallpapers in rice paper.
The current appearance of the building is the result, for the most part, of the reworking works desired in the 1832 since the last one prince of Carignano, neo king of Sardinia, Carlo Alberto, who wanted to further expand and beautify the place of residence, which from that moment on, ceased to be property of the family Savoy-Carignan to move to the crown of Sardinia, thus assuming the status of "Royal residence"
The works were entrusted to the engineer Ernesto Melano, which further raised the structure and developed the two large side sleeves of the prospectus southern, re-proposing the theme of the dome "Pagoda" as a coverage of the two turrets angular. The accommodation also included the remake of the square and the construction of the buildings to "C" that link the new wings of the south prospect to the backwaters pavilions in Casa del facade Northern. One was also shot down mill and some houses that hid the view from the castle, thus giving rise to the large square in front of the main entrance, in line with the long and evocative tree-lined avenue front.
The interiors were instead adapted on the basis of the needs of the time, entrusting the work to Pelagio Palagi, who furnished the new environments while maintaining consistency with taste neoclassic. The cabinetmaker collaborated with him Gabriele Capello, said "the Moncalvo"Of which we remember, among the many works preserved in the castle, the precious inlays that decorate the furnishings and doors of the Etruscan cabinet, personal study of King Carlo Alberto.
In 834, the Gallery in the west it was the object of the work of Marco Antonio Trefogli. The same one adorned it with refined grotesques, representing fruit and birds. With the collaboration of Luigi Cinnati, he also made ornaments and arabesques for the Reception room and Lunchroom. For the bathroom of Carlo Alberto, he painted in the ornamental bands of the floral motifs, as well as grotesques, amphorae, shells, griffins and swans, and in the frieze above the cornice were some figures of dragons alternated with scrolls.
The arrangement of park was entrusted to landscape painter tedesco Xavier Kurten, which transformed the previous work of Ours with a romantic setting. Of this period is also the construction of the Margaria, the farmhouse in Neo-Gothic style located at the bottom of the park.
Just in the avenues of the park, in August of 1840, the first meeting between the prince took place Vittorio Emanuele, future first king of Italy and his first wife, Maria Adelaide of Hapsburg-Lorraine.
In the succession of years, the successors of Carlo Alberto they frequented less frequently, but with the advent of the throne Vittorio Emanuele III, the residence returned to be the seat of the "Royal Holidays"
In the 1903 castle was equipped with water and electricity, as well as an elevator Stigler and a new lighting system along the walls. TO Vittorio Emanuele III one must also decorate one of the internal walls of the Honor staircase with the most complete genealogical representation of the royals, work of Adolfo Dalbesio.
To meet the needs of the royals, some rooms were modernized including the Principini Apartments and that of the sovereigns where in 1904, thelast king of Italy Umberto II.
A series of important historical events followed one another over the years; in 1909 the residence was the site of the visit of the Tsar Nicholas II, in the 1925 the wedding of the Princess Mafalda and in the 1930, those of the Prince Umberto II who received the residence as a gift.
Precisely at the same is the finding at the others Savoy residences of numerous family paintings, preserved in the Portraits Gallery and a collection of documentation on the Shroud of Turin.
Some blocks of apartments on the second floor were restored, including the bathrooms and the music lounge. Paretti and ceilings were decorated in futurist style by Fiore Martelli, an illustrious pupil Giò Ponti.
In the 1946, after the results of a institutional referendum, castle was closed and lawyer to the Italian State. The princesses Jolanda, Giovanna and the heirs of Mafalda filed a lawsuit about the illegitimacy of the donation of the 1930 to Umberto II. Nevertheless the Court of Cassation decreed, in the 1972, that only a fifth of the building was confiscable but that to the Italian State the right of first refusal had to be guaranteed, in case of sale.
In the 1980, after a thirty-four year exile, Umberto II decided to sell the entire property to the State with a single clause: that the residence and all the attached properties, were related to the theme of "knowledge" and therefore, that this would determine a use of the dwelling destined to cultural activities.
Reopened in the 1994, the place of residence it is largely visited and is the subject of constants restorations conservative in nature to preserve the structure and bring the noble floors back to their former glory.
It preserves environments neoclassical, to include salt of taste déco dating back to the first half of the twentieth century. Restored with extreme care, they maintain the original decorations and fittings preserved over the centuries.
The most relevant are undoubtedly: the Hall of Hercules Diana's room, Chinese Apartment, the dining room, the reception room, the famous Etruscan cabinet, Apollo's cabinet, the apartments of Carlo Alberto, Maria Teresa and Maria Adelaide and the princely apartments.
On the second noble floor there are the twentieth century apartments, including the bedroom of the Queen Elena, Bath of Umberto II and the lounge of the Music of Maria José.
Il castle overlooks an impressive and impressive French park of 170 hectares, bordered by a wall along 6 km. At the end of the seventeenth century the same appeared according to the geometric rigor given to it by the French architect André Le Nôtre, author of the gardens of the Palace of Versailles.
A century later, at the behest of the princess Giuseppina di Lorena-Armagnac, the park underwent a transformation by Giacomo Pregliasco, which redesigned a part offering new paths, immersed in a lush and apparently wild nature.
The completion of the same, in Romantic style, as it still appears, we owe it to Carlo Alberto, which in the 1836 entrusted the work to the Prussian landscape architect Xavier Kurten who dedicated himself to the reorganization of the lake, the avenues and the waterways and, thanks to the addition of bridges, hills and rows of trees, transformed it into a typical 19th century park.
A Kurten I succeed in the direction of the park i Roda brothers and under their management the royal park gained fame at European level thanks to the vast production of rare flowers and exotic fruit plants cultivated in the gardens and in the new greenhouse desired by Carlo Alberto.
Between the nineteenth and twentieth century the park it was used prevalently as hunting reserve and how agricultural estate, but from the second world war onwards there was a certain lack of maintenance and a progressive state of abandonment.
At the reopening of the castle, occurred in the 1994, the park has also been the subject of careful recovery interventions, to bring it back to the appearance given to it by Kurten in the nineteenth century.
In the 2010 the park was chosen among the top ten finalists and later decreed winner in the competition "The most beautiful parks in Italy 2010"
Particularly worthy of attention is the Russian dacia located inside the park, a building adapted according to the tastes of the Tsar Nicholas II in the period in which he was a guest a Racconigi. The structure is home to the park's library.
The great value is of great value rural complex in Casa del Margaria, farmhouse of Neo-Gothic style designed by Palagi. It is characterized by the integral brick cladding and the large internal portico. In the right tower of the main facade of the Margaria the Reposoir of the Queen, with furniture in Neo-Gothic style di Gabriele Capello. Inside the Margaria there is also the elegant structure of the Royal Greenhouses, work of Carlo Sada.
Il Racconigi castle today represents one of the Savoy residences better preserved and boasts an appreciable and evocative endowment of furnishings, paintings and furnishings and is constantly home to events and cultural activities.
Via Francesco Morosini, 3, 12035 Racconigi CN