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Castle of Racconigi

Castle of Racconigi

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Posted by user1131 on September 11, 2015
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Il castle real of Racconigi is located in the province of Wedge, A short distance from Turin.

During its millennial history it has undergone numerous alterations and became the property of the Savoy in the second half of the fourteenth century. Later it was the official residence of the branch of the Savoy-Carignan and later it was elected the seat of the "Reali Villeggiature" of the royal family of 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 . Piedmont, of the system Castles Open of Lower Piedmont and since 1997 is part of the Savoy residences serial site. It is also included in the list of World Heritage Sites ofUNESCO.

in 1372 Federico II of Saluzzo he gave the castle to the pledge Falletti accounts. After a few years it returned to the property of the Marquises of Saluzzo and in the second half of the fourteenth 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 1676 the complete transformation of the fortress into "Villa of delights".

He erected a large central body with a "pagoda" roof and also on the base of 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 he was not limited to the transformation of the building, but also thanks to the assistance 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 the reconstruction of the facade southern with the addition of 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 remodeling work undertaken by the last one in 1832 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 work was 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 cover for the two turrets angular. The accommodation also included the remake of the square and the construction of the "C" -shaped buildings that connect the new wings of the south elevation to the rear pavilions area of 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 suggestive 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 adorn the furnishings and the 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, painted floral motifs in the ornamental bands, as well as grotesques, amphorae, shells, griffins and swans and in the frieze above the cornice figures of dragons alternating with spirals were inserted.

The arrangement of park was entrusted to landscape painter tedesco Xavier Kurten, which transformed the previous work of Ours with a romantic setting. The construction of the Margaria, the farmhouse in Neo-Gothic style located at the bottom of the park.

It was in the avenues of the park that the first meeting between the prince took place in August 1840 Vittorio Emanuele, future first king of Italy and his first wife, Maria Adelaide of Habsburg-Lorraine.

In the succession of years, the successors of Carlo Alberto attended less frequently, but, with the coming to the throne of Vittorio Emanuele III, the residence once again became 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 Staircase of Honor 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.

The procurement from the others is due to the same 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, pupil of the illustrious Giò Ponti.

In the 1946, after the results of a institutional referendum, castle was closed and advocated to the Italian State. Princesses Jolanda, Giovanna and Mafalda's heirs filed a lawsuit on the illegitimacy of the 1930 donation 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 annexed properties were related to the theme of "knowledge" and therefore, that this would determine a use of the dwelling intended for 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, the 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 170 hectares, delimited by a 6 km long wall. 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 today, it is due 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 XNUMXth 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 centuries 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, which took place in 1994, the park was also the subject of careful restoration work, to bring it back to the appearance given to it by Kurten in the nineteenth century.

In 2010 the park was chosen among the top ten finalists and subsequently declared the winner in the "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 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 area of Margaria, farmhouse of Neo-Gothic style designed by Palagi. It is characterized by the integral brick cladding and the large internal porch. In the tower on the right of the main facade of the Margaria the Reposoir of the Queen, with furniture in Neo-Gothic style di Gabriele Capello. Inside the Margaria also stands 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 suggestive endowment of furnishings, paintings and furnishings and is constantly the venue for events and cultural activities.

Via Francesco Morosini, 3, 12035 Racconigi CN 

0172 84005