The Royal Villa (Villa Reale) lies on the banks of the Lambro, surrounded by the large Monza Park, one of the largest enclosed parks in Europe. It was originally built by Giuseppe Piermarini between 1777 and 1780, when Lombardy was part of Austrian Empire, for the Archduke Ferdinand of Austria.
Following the establishment of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy, the building was used as a Royal Palace and became home to the Viceroy of Italy, Eugène de Beauharnais. With the fall of the First Empire (1815), Austria annexed the Italian territories to the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia, Monza being included in the province of Milan.
In 1861, when the new Kingdom of Italy was established, the building became a palace of the Italian Royal Family of Savoia. The Royal Villa was abandoned by the royal family in 1900, after the murder of King Humbert I near the entrance as he returned from an event.
The palace complex includes the Royal Chapel, the Cavallerizza (horse-shed), the Rotonda dell'Appiani, the Teatrino di Corte ('Small Court Theatre') and the Orangerie. The rooms at the first floor include grand salons and halls, and the Royal apartments of King Humbert I of Italy and of Queen Margherita of Savoy. In front of the palace are the Royal gardens, designed by Piermarini as English landscape gardens.
In the first floorthere are the reception roomsand the apartments of King Umberto I and Queen Margherita.The front of villa facing east opens to English Gardens designed by Piermarini.References:
Dating from the 15th century, Kisimul is the only significant surviving medieval castle in the Outer Hebrides. It was the residence of the chief of the Macneils of Barra, who claimed descent from the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages. Tradition tells of the Macneils settling in Barra in the 11th century, but it was only in 1427 that Gilleonan Macneil comes on record as the first lord. He probably built the castle that dominates the rocky islet, and in its shadow a crew house for his personal galley and crew. The sea coursed through Macneil veins, and a descendant, Ruari ‘the Turbulent’, was arrested for piracy of an English ship during King James VI’s reign in the later 16th century.
Heavy debts eventually forced the Macneil chiefs to sell Barra in 1838. However, a descendant, Robert Lister Macneil, the 45th Chief, repurchased the estate in 1937, and set about restoring his ancestral seat. It passed into Historic Scotland’s care in 2000.
The castle dates essentially from the 15th century. It takes the form of a three-storey tower house. This formed the residence of the clan chief. An associated curtain wall fringed the small rock on which the castle stood, and enclosed a small courtyard in which there are ancillary buildings. These comprised a feasting hall, a chapel, a tanist’s house and a watchman’s house. Most were restored in the 20th century, the tanist’s house serving as the family home of the Macneils. A well near the postern gate is fed with fresh water from an underground seam. Outside the curtain wall, beside the original landing-place, are the foundations of the crew house, where the sailors manning their chief’s galley had their quarters.