Palazzo Madama

Palazzo Madama is a UNESCO World Heritage. Located in the heart of Turin, in the area that, at the time of ancient Rome, was called Porta Decumana. During the first century this was the gateway to the city from the side of Po river, after the end of the Roman Empire the door was turned into a fortress. Some centuries later the fortress of Porta Decumana became the property of the Savoy-Achaia (cadet branch of the Savoy) that in the first half of the fourteenth century, enlarged the building. A century after Louis Acaja reworked the castle giving it the square shape still visible today. At the extinction of the branch Acaja the castle was trasformend into a residence for guests of the Savoy. In 1637 the regent of Duke Carlo Emanuele II of Savoy, Maria Christina of Bourbon-France elected it as her residence and commissioned extensive renovations, such as coverage of the court (which still stands a floor above the rest of the building ) and the modernization of the interior apartments. Sixty years later, Maria Giovanna Battista of Savoy-Nemours (regent of Vittorio Amedeo II of Savoy) lived in this building and gave it the present appearance, as home of the two regencies 'Madame Royal'. Architect Filippo Juvarra designed a magnificent baroque palace made of white stone. However, the project was never finished, and anly the front part was completed in 1721. Since the death last Madama Reale underwent extensive alterations due to different uses, from the police headquarters of the provisional government in France in the Napoleonic campaigns. The return of Savoy in Turin allowed a new life to the palace as headquarters of the Military Command, and astronomical observatory in 1822. Charles Albert then used it as the site of the Fine Arts Gallery and, later, as the Senate Subalpine and then the Court of Cassation. The Senate was inaugurated on May 8, 1848, while the king was at war with Austria in the last session is dated December 9, 1864. The chamber, still intact until 1927, was later demolished as a result of internal work to the building. Become the seat of the Civic Museum of Ancient Art in 1934, the castle during the twentieth century has seen the unfolding of numerous renovations and restorations, which were completed at the end of 2006. Since 2007, the museum houses important works of art (ancient sculptures, an art gallery and a vast collection of porcelains. Currently, the facade is a challenging subject of restoration, while the gardens will be reorganized around the fortified house hosting plant species dating back to medieval times.

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