Step through the golden medusa embellished gates and become immersed in the extravagant beauty and rich history of the Savoy household.
This is a sumptuous dynastic residence, first designed by architect Ascanio Vittozzi in c. 1645 for the court. Close to other favoured Savoy residences, Duchess Maria Christina was keen to celebrate the return of her son from the civil wars in this fashionable and opulent building which would provide a fitting home for him in Turin. Perfectly located with a strategic vantage point overlooking the cities’ two entrances, the Pretoria and Palatine gates, this site had previously been the location of the Bishop’s Palace.
A building of huge historic and religious significance, it has seen the births, deaths and marriages of generations of Savoyards. The previous Bishop’s Palace structure has been extended by Charles Emmanuel I (b. 1562 d. 1630). These works included a ring of porches topped with an open gallery to celebrate the joint marriage of Princesses Margaret and Isabella in 1608. Charles Emmanuel I’s son Victor Amadeus I married French princess Christine Marie - it was a high profile wedding in 1619 at the Louvre, Paris. Christine Marie would later become the regent of Savoy after the death of her husband, before her sons were old enough to succeed and it was under her patronage that the palace really took shape.
Over the years the palace has nurtured some of the biggest players of 17th century Franco-Italian high-society. This era saw the creation of the Daniel gallery (so named after Daniel Seiter whose murals adorn the walls and ceilings here), various seasonal apartments and perhaps most notably between 1668 and 1694 The Chapel of the Holy Shroud (constructed on the western side adjoining the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist to house the Shroud of Turin, a sacred Christian relic).
Shunned by the Savoy monarchy in the mid 18th century in favour of the more rural Palazzina di caccia di Stupinigi it is one of the most visited tourist attractions throughout Italy. Operated as a museum since 1946 parts of the building host various specific museums and galleries including the Museum of Antiquities, Royal Armoury and LIbrary and the Savoy Gallery and a magnificent staircase the Scala delle Forbici by Filippo Juvarra.
Piazzetta Reale, 1, 10122 Torino, Italy
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