The palace was built in the 16th century, by the Madruzzo family, the prince-bishops of Trento. The year of the construction is uncertain – the palace was built either in 1530, commissioned by Giovanni Gaudenzio Madruzzo, or in 1550, at the behest of his son, Cristoforo Madruzzo.
On June 7, 1551, the palace hosted Philip II of Spain, son of Charles V, accompanied by Emanuele Filiberto I of Savoy and other nobles, who arrived in Trento on the occasion of the Council of Trent.
In 1658, after the death of Carlo Emanuele Madruzzo, the palace became the property of the bishopric of Trento. Soon, Palazzo delle Albere decayed. The walls were partially demolished, and part of the frescoes were destroyed.
In September 1796, shortly after the occupation of Trento by Napoleon Bonaparte, the palace was sacked by the French soldiers. In November of the same year, the city was taken over by the Austrians, who used the villa as a prison and hospital. On Christmas night of the same year, the building caught fire and was seriously damaged.
The villa underwent a first restoration in 1833, at the behest of the bishop Francesco Saverio Luschin. During the works, the roof was completely rebuilt, eliminating the tower that was located in the center. In the second half of the 19th century, the building was used as a peasant dwelling.
Between 1927 and 1933, the episcopal curia which acquired the palace, granted it to the nearby Michelin tire factory as accommodation for its workers.
In 1951, there was a second restoration, resumed in 1970 with the acquisition of the palace by the Province of Trento.
In 1981, it became the exhibition site of the contemporary art section of the Provincial Art Museum. In 1987, it became the seat of the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto. On January 1, 2011, the palace was closed for restoration.
Since 2015, Palazzo delle Albere was used as an exhibition space for temporary exhibitions.
ART AND ARCHITECTURE
The palace has a square plan, with four corner towers of 6 meters on each side and 20 meters high, surrounded by a moat. The eastern facade of the palace is characterized by a double serliana (an architectural element composed of a round arch symmetrically flanked by two openings, surmounted by an architrave).
On the first floor, there was once the Great Hall (Sala Grande), but little remains of the paintings that narrated the life of Charles V. On the second floor, however, many Renaissance frescoes were preserved.
HOW TO GET THERE
Palazzo delle Albere is located about 1.3 kilometers away from the Trento railway station. The closest bus stop is Rosmini Cimitero, located about 400 meters away on Via Antonio Rosmini, on the bus Lines 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 12, 13 and 14.