Travel

Vicenza and the Palladian Villas (World Heritage)

The ingenious master builder Andrea Palladio (1508-1580) left his mark on Vicenza. Churches and palazzi from the 15th to 18th centuries adorn the historic city center. The most famous sights of Vicenza are Palladio’s villa “La Rotonda”, the basilica and the Teatro Olimpico.

Vicenza and Palladio’s Villas: Facts

Official title: Vicenza and the Palladian villas in the Veneto region
Cultural monument: Traces of the architect Andreas Palladio: i.a. Dome of Santa Maria Maggiore and Capella Valmarana in Santa Corona, Santuario della Madonna di Monte Berico, Basilica Palladiana, originally a Gothic city palace and rebuilt after a partial collapse, Loggia del Capitano, Teatro Olimpico, Palazzo Chiericati, Villa Almerico Capra, also »La Rotonda «Called and most famous Villa Palladios, Palazzo Civena-Trissino and Palazzo Valmarana-Braga
Continent: Europe
Country: Italy, Veneto
Location: Vicenza
Appointment: 1994, expanded in 1996 (“City of Palladian and Palladian Villas in Veneto”)
Meaning: Palladio’s classicist architecture with a decisive influence on the development of architecture

Vicenza and the Palladian Villas: History

around 1400 Start of construction of the new Santa Maria Maggiore cathedral
1428 Construction of the Santuario della Madonna di Monte Berico as a Gothic basilica
1479-1504 Santa Corona partially rebuilt
1508 Birth of Andrea Palladio
1546-1617 Reconstruction of the Basilica Palladiana
1550-1680 Palazzo Chiericati
1566/67 Villa Almerico Capra, called “La Rotonda”
1570/71 Loggia del Capitano
1576 Reconstruction of the Santuario della Madonna di Monte Berico according to Palladio’s plans
1580 Andrea Palladio dies in Vicenza
1946-50 Reconstruction of Santa Maria Maggiore after being damaged in World War II

Country villas for the maritime republic

It is no coincidence that the director Joseph Losy chose the architectural setting of the Palladio villa “Almerico Capra”, known as “La Rotonda”, for the film adaptation of the Mozart opera “Don Giovanni” with the American conductor Lorin Maazel. Even more than any stage design, this villa not far from Vicenza corresponds to the timeless ideal of a building, characterized by beauty and elegance. Palladio, the classicist teacher from Padua, created a clear and convincing combination of the most perfect geometric shapes of the circle and the square in the floor plan. The round central hall, which receives its light from above, forms the middle of the square main building, surrounded by four temple facades with six Ionic columns and gable fields, to which large open stairs lead up. The villa is great and representative, but certainly not very comfortable. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who visited her for the first time on September 22, 1786, wrote enthusiastically: “Perhaps architecture has never raised its luxury.” Goethe had a very high opinion of Palladio, and so he accepted the judgment without reservation the Vincentian to: “(…) and then it is most refreshing to see Palladio revered by his fellow citizens as a pole star and model image after so much time.”

Even today, the buildings of Palladio are the real attraction of the city located on the northern edge of the Po plain. The star architect of the 16th century, Andrea di Pietro dalla Gondola, owes his surname »Palladio«, by which he became known, to the humanist Trissino, who encouraged and inspired him. He alluded to the cult image of the Greek goddess Pallas Athena, which was supposed to protect its owner. Until about 1540, Palladio was little more than a humble stonemason. It was not until his travels to Rome in the forties of his century, studying the guide to the “Antiquities of Rome” and meditating on the absolute beauty of form, that he became an outstanding architect who symbolized and realized the spirit of his time. His genius is also evident in his treatise “Quattro libri dell ‘architettura”, with which he enjoyed great success with the first edition of 1570. It repeatedly refers to antiquity as the great model for architecture. Palladio, striving to find an ideal balance between tradition and contemporary tastes, succeeded in following this ancient model and, as in the design of San Francesco della Vigna, harmoniously merging the ancient temple with the church.

Palladio’s buildings had a profound effect on all of European architecture. So-called »Palladian Classicism« had a decisive influence on English architecture for two centuries. The architect of St. Paul’s Church in London, Christopher Wren, was a student of Palladio, as were many German, French and Dutch architects. According to constructmaterials, as the German art and Italy connoisseur Eckhart Peterich writes, Palladio was »a legacy who knew how to manage an enormous legacy of Hellenistic sensitivity, Alexandrian drama, Roman grandeur, and Renaissance-like flourishing and points to the great future of European architecture: the baroque. ”The crowning glory of Palladio’s great work is undoubtedly the small“ Teatro Olimpico ”. In the 400. In the year of death of the builder who died in Vicenza, the master’s villas in Veneto came into the public eye again and with them thousands of villas from the heyday of the Venetian Maritime Republic, which are often completely neglected or have been spoiled by renovations. Only a little more than 20 villas by the great architect have been preserved. But they are all unique, because no two are alike. Incidentally, Palladio, who repeatedly relied on advances from benevolent builders, who built magnificent palaces and villas for his entire life, was unable to build his own house. which, however, are often completely neglected or have been spoiled by renovations. Only a little more than 20 villas by the great architect have been preserved. But they are all unique, because no two are alike. Incidentally, Palladio, who repeatedly relied on advances from benevolent builders, who built magnificent palaces and villas for his entire life, was unable to build his own house. which, however, are often completely neglected or have been spoiled by renovations. Only a little more than 20 villas by the great architect have been preserved. But they are all unique, because no two are alike. Incidentally, Palladio, who repeatedly relied on advances from benevolent builders, who built magnificent palaces and villas for his entire life, was unable to build his own house.

Vicenza and the Palladian Villas