Palazzo Madama

The Medieval fortified home, which included the Roman Porta Pretoria, was enlarged during the 14th and 15th centuries by the Acaja family. In the 17th century the building, still connected to the current Palazzo Reale through a long wing used as a gallery, became the dwelling of the Royal Ladies, Cristiana of France and Giovanna Battista of Savoia-Nemours; the castle is named after them. The architects working for the Savoy court during the mid-Seventeenth century are responsible for the design and creation of a grand room on the piano nobile, achieved by the covering of the courtyard (Carlo di Castellamonte, 1638-1640), the building of a façade facing the square (Carlo Vanello, 1646) and the transformation of the apartments, making them more appropriate for the new Baroque taste.

From 1718 onwards, the First Royal Architect Filippo Juvarra worked on an important enlargement project, which was carried out only on the front side with the grand staircase. The new main façade, with the current via Garibaldi as a background, is characterised by ashlar work and by a tall series of fluted pilasters and Corinthian columns, and is completed by a large cornice with marble balustrade holding vases and statues. The large windows provide natural illumination to the staircase. The palace, home to the Museo Civico di Arte Antica (Civic Museum of Ancient Art), was recently reopened after a long and complex restoration.

Source: Piemonte
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