Tag: Luca Fancelli in Mantua

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    Palazzo Ducale

    Palazzo Ducale (Ducal Palace), also known as the Gonzaga Palace, is a large complex of historical buildings in Mantua, located in the beautiful Piazza Sordello.   SHORT HISTORY Starting with 1308, Palazzo Ducale was the official residence of the lords of Mantua, belonging at first to the Bonacolsi family, until 1328, when it became the residence of the Gonzaga family, who ruled the city until 1707. Distinct buildings were built in different eras, starting with the 13th century, initially by the Bonacolsi family, and subsequently by the Gonzagas. It was Duke Guglielmo Gonzaga who commissioned the architect Giovan Battista Bertani to connect the various buildings into an organic form, to create starting from 1556 a single grandiose monumental and architectural complex, one of the largest in Europe, which stretched between the shore of Lake Inferiore and Piazza Sordello. Bertani died in 1576, and the work was continued by the architect Bernardino Facciotto, who completed the gardens, squares, arcades, galleries, exedras and courtyards, definitively fixing the appearance of the ducal palace. During the Gonzaga domination, the palace gradually expanded, both with the addition of new buildings and by modifying the existing ones. The complex includes Corte Vecchia (Old Court), composed of Read more [...]

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    Palazzo della Ragione

    Palazzo della Ragione is a medieval palace located in the historical center of Mantua, in Piazza delle Erbe, adjacent to Palazzo del Podesta.   SHORT HISTORY Palazzo della Ragione was built around the year 1250 on the ruins of a building located next to Rotonda di San Lorenzo. The palace was later used as the Town Hall and then as a market. During the Gonzaga’s lordship, the palace was joined to Palazzo del Podesta, and used in the 15th century as the Palace of Justice, hence the name of Palazzo della Ragione. The external portico towards Piazza Erbe and the adjacent Clock Tower date from that period. Palazzo della Ragione was renovated during the last years of the 17th century and the first years of the 18th century, based on a project by the architect Doricilio Moscatelli, known as Battaglia. During this period, the facade of the palace was radically transformed, with the removal of the original windows and the opening of new ones. In 1942, on a project by the Mantuan architect Aldo Andreani, the original facade and the interior of the palace were restored. Palazzo della Ragione was damaged by the earthquake of May 29, 2012, but was Read more [...]

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    Palazzo del Podesta

    Palazzo del Podesta, also known as Palazzo del Broletto, is a medieval palace located in the historical center of Mantua, between Piazza delle Erbe and Piazza Broletto, adjacent to Palazzo della Ragione.   SHORT HISTORY Palazzo del Podesta was commissioned in 1227 by Laudarengo Martinengo from Brescia, appointed podesta of Mantua, and built starting with the same year. In 1241, a fire destroyed the palace, which was then restored, enlarged and equipped with battlements. During the same time, Torre del Broletto was also rebuilt and Palazzo del Podesta became a symbol of the new municipal values. In 1413, the palace was set on fire again. The arsonist was, probably, Gianfrancesco Gonzaga, who, after the rise to power of the Gonzaga family, wanted to eliminate the symbolic building of the previous administration. In the 15th century, after many decades of neglect, Palazzo del Podesta was recovered and, between 1462 and 1464, it was renovated in Renaissance style after a design by Luca Fancelli, commissioned by the Marquis Ludovico II Gonzaga. The works were supervised by the architect Giovanni Antonio D’Arezzo. Many of the changes made by Luca Fancelli in the 15th century were eliminated in 1941, during the restoration campaign carried Read more [...]

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    Piazza delle Erbe

    Piazza delle Erbe is one of the main squares in Mantua. Together with the nearby Piazza Sordello, Piazza delle Erbe was the center of the civil power of Mantua for about 800 hundred years.   SHORT HISTORY Piazza delle Erbe began to take shape towards the end of the 12th century, when a vast unpaved land on the eastern side of the Basilica of Sant’Andrea was used as a venue for the cattle market. The space in front of Via di Sant’Andrea, now Via Broletto, where shops were already built, was divided in two by Palazzo del Podesta, also known as Palazzo del Broletto, built in 1227. On the eastern side of the square, between Palazzo del Podesta and the Rotonda di San Lorenzo, Palazzo della Ragione was built around the middle of the 12th century. During the domination of the Bonacolsi and later of the Gonzagas, the administrative and political power center moved gradually from Piazza delle Erbe to the new Piazza San Pietro, now Piazza Sordello. In 1455, in the western corner of the square, the House of the Merchant Giovan Boniforte da Concorezzo was built, decorated in late Gothic style with Venetian terracotta. In the second half Read more [...]

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    Castello di San Giorgio

    Castello di San Giorgio (Saint George’s Castle) is a moated rectangular castle in Mantua, located in the northeastern corner of the city. The castle is part of the Ducal Palace.   SHORT HISTORY Castello di San Giorgio was commissioned by Francesco I Gonzaga to the architect Bartolino da Novara, and built on the ruins of the Church of Santa Maria di Capo di Bove between 1395 and 1406. In 1458, the architect Luca Fancelli, at the behest of the Marquis Ludovico II Gonzaga, renovated the castle, which definitively lost its military and defensive functions. The castle was for many years the residence of Isabella d’Este, wife of Francesco II Gonzaga, one of the most famous noblewomen of the Renaissance. As the Lady of the manor, Isabella invited numerous artists and humanists of the time at the castle, such as the painters Andrea Mantegna and Pietro Perugino, the polymath Leonardo da Vinci, or the poets Ludovico Ariosto and Baldassarre Castiglione. The castle remained the Gonzaga residence for about a century, until Guglielmo Gonzaga moved his apartments to the renovated Palazzo Ducale. Starting with 1815, after the Austrian occupation of the city, the castle became a maximum security prison where opponents of Read more [...]

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    Church of San Sebastiano

    The Church of San Sebastiano, also known as the Temple of San Sebastiano, is an Early Renaissance church in Mantua, located in the immediate vicinity of Palazzo Te.   SHORT HISTORY Ludovico III Gonzaga, Marquis of Mantua, commissioned the construction of the Church of San Sebastiano to the architect Leon Battista Alberti. Alberti, ten years later, designed also the magnificent Basilica of Sant’Andrea for the same member of the Gonzaga family. The construction of the church was begun around 1460 by Alberti, but was completed after the death of the architect by Luca Fancelli, at the beginning of the 16th century. Fancelli also completed Alberti’s other project, the Basilica of Sant’Andrea. The church was consecrated in 1529, underwent a first restoration at the beginning of the 17th century, and another arbitrary intervention in 1926.   ARCHITECTURE Alberti designed an austere and solemn building. The church has a Greek cross plan, with three identical short apses, under a central cross-vaulted space without any interior partitions. The church is divided on two levels. The lower one is the crypt, which was intended to serve as a mausoleum for the Gonzaga family. The upper level is now accessed from two outer staircases added Read more [...]