Mole Antonelliana is a monumental building in Turin, located in Via Montebello, in the historical center of the city. Since 2000, the building houses the National Museum of Cinema (Museo Nazionale del Cinema).
With a height of 167.5 meters, Mole Antonelliana is the symbol of Turin and one of the symbols of Italy. It was the tallest masonry building in the world between 1889 and 1908, and until recently it was the tallest building in Turin.
TIP: If you want to admire the beautiful city of Turin from above, visit Mole Antonelliana and take the panoramic lift to the top of the tower. The view will leave you breathless!
SHORT HISTORY OF MOLE ANTONELLIANA
In 1848, after the freedom of worship was granted to non-Catholic religions, the Jewish community of Turin bought a piece of land in the area, to erect a new temple with an adjoining school.
The original project of 1862 foresaw a building only 47 meters high. The architect Alessandro Antonelli proposed a series of modifications to the structure, which involved raising it to 113 meters.
In 1869, the changes, the construction time and the higher costs made the Jewish community to finish the structure with a provisional roof, about 70 meters high.
In 1873, the Jewish community, strongly disappointed by the problems and additional costs, received from the Municipality of Turin a piece of land in the San Salvario district, where the current synagogue was built.
The Municipality of Turin took charge of the construction, in order to dedicate it to King Vittorio Emanuele II. Antonelli resumed the project in 1873, adding above the dome the so-called Tempietto (Small Temple), a Neoclassical hexastyle colonnade, with two floors and a square base. The Tempietto was completed only in 1885.
Above the small temple, the architect designed a circular granite colonnade, called the Lantern (Lanterna). Above the Lantern, he added a spire of about 50 meters, with an octagonal section, interspersed with ten circular terraces.
The spire was completed in 1889, with the addition of the statue of the Winged Genius (Genio Alato), a symbol of the House of Savoy. The statue was knocked down during a storm on August 11, 1904, and was replaced in 1906 by a five-pointed star.
In 1908, Mole Antonelliana became the seat of the National Museum of the Italian Risorgimento. After the museum was transferred to Palazzo Carignano in 1938, the building was used only as a venue for various exhibitions.
On May 23, 1953, another violent storm caused the spire to break and fall. The reconstruction works of the spire were relatively fast, and were completed in 1960.
ARCHITECTURE OF MOLE ANTONELLIANA
The shape of the building is unique. The massive lower part, exclusively in masonry, begins with a square base, with a side 50 meters long.
The entrance from Via Montebello has a hexastyle pronaos with granite columns, which rises for about 30 meters. The roof of the pronaos is characterized by curved slopes repeated on all four sides, which form a sort of quadrangular dome whose top is connected to the central module.
The central module is divided into two registers – in the one below, there is a loggia with 20 columns on each side, while the upper one is characterized by semicircular windows.
Above, there is the large dome, with a square base, characterized by an elongated vault, with convex walls. The dome is surmounted by the Tempietto, then the Lantern, and finally the spire.
THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF CINEMA
The National Museum of Cinema has multiple exhibition levels, rich in collections that traces the history of cinema from its origins to the present day.
The museum exhibits pre-cinematographic optical devices such as magic lanterns, film sets, photographs, sketches, posters and period objects.
The National Museum of Cinema currently houses about 20,000 devices, paintings and printed artworks, 80,000 pictures, 300,000 film posters, 12,000 movie reels and 26,000 books related to cinema.
Every year, during the month of November, the museum hosts the prestigious Torino Film Festival, the second largest film festival in Italy, after the Venice Film Festival.
HOW TO GET TO MOLE ANTONELLIANA
Mole Antonelliana is located about 1.6 kilometers away from the Porta Nuova railway station and about 2.3 kilometers away from the Porta Susa railway station.
The closest bus stop is Montebello, located a few meters away, on the bus Line STAR 1. The closest tram stop is Mole Antonelliana, located about 180 meters away, in Corso San Maurizio, on the tram Line 16 CS.
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