Basilica Palladiana

Vicenza, Italy

The Basilica Palladiana is a Renaissance building in the central Piazza dei Signori in Vicenza. The most notable feature of the edifice is the loggia, which shows one of the first examples of what have come to be known as the Palladian window, designed by a young Andrea Palladio, whose work in architecture was to have a significant effect on the field during the Renaissance and later periods.

The building was originally constructed in the 15th century and was known as the Palazzo della Ragione. The building, which was in the Gothic style, served as the seat of government and also housed a number of shops on the ground floor. The 82-metre tall tower Torre della Bissara precedes this structure, as it is known from as early as 1172; however, its height was increased on this occasion, and its pinnacle was finished in 1444. The 15th-century edifice had an upside-down cover, partly supported by large archivolts, inspired by the one built in 1306 for the eponymous building of Padua. The Gothic façade was in red and gialletto marble of Verona, and is still visible behind the Palladio addition.

A double order of columns was built by Tommaso Formenton in 1481-1494 to surround the palace. However, two years after its completion, the south-western corner collapsed. In the following decades, the Vicentine government called in architects to propose a reconstruction plan. However, in 1546 the Council of One Hundred chose a young local architect, Palladio, to reconstruct the building starting from April 1549. Palladio added a new outer shell of marble classical forms, a loggia and a portico that now obscure the original Gothic architecture. He also dubbed the building a basilica, after the ancient Roman civil structures of that name.

In 1614, thirty years after Palladio's death, the building was completed, with the finishing of the main façade on Piazza delle Erbe.

Since 1994 the Basilica has been protected as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site also including the other Palladian buildings of Vicenza. The building now often hosts exhibitions in its large hall used for civic events.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: 15th century
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Italy

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Gardasee Lake Garda (Gardasee - Lake Garda) (2 years ago)
Majestic and fascinating. We only got to see the outside so we will go back in better times to see the rest.
D P Rogers (3 years ago)
Huge fan of Anrea Palladio. Obviously very influential in Renaissance architecture, and continues to be today. The Palladian Basilica is simply a beauiful example of his work. A must to travel to the top and walk around to get some great views of Vicenza.
Elena Vidotto (3 years ago)
There's a bar on the rooftop of the basilica which gives you one of the most romantic view of the city while enjoying a lovely cold drinks especially if you love sunset or even after dinner of appreciate the city lights.
Sibel H (3 years ago)
Very beautiful place I enjoyed everything in Vicenza such history and beautiful buildings. Definitely worth to visit. It is right at the center of Piazza dei signori's. Love the easy access to everything.
Brian Taylor (3 years ago)
I had no idea this was here, as I was ignorant in my thinking that all the antiquities are in Rome, Milan and Venice. What a splendid surprise. It is in the middle of a beautiful citadel with wonderful café culture to enjoy, even in January
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Tyniec Abbey

Tyniec Benedictine abbey was founded by King Casimir the Restorer probably around 1044. Casimir decided to rebuild the newly established Kingdom of Poland, after a Pagan rebellion and a disastrous Czech raid of Duke Bretislaus I (1039). The Benedictines, invited to Tyniec by the King, were tasked with restoring order as well as cementing the position of the State and the Church. First Tyniec Abbot was Aaron, who became the Bishop of Kraków. Since there is no conclusive evidence to support the foundation date as 1040, some historians claim that the abbey was founded by Casimir the Restorer’ son, King Boleslaw II the Generous.

In the second half of the 11th century, a complex of Romanesque buildings was completed, consisting of a basilica and the abbey. In the 14th century, it was destroyed in Tatar and Czech raids, and in the 15th century it was rebuilt in Gothic style. Further remodelings took place in the 17th and 18th centuries, first in Baroque, then in Rococo style. The abbey was partly destroyed in the Swedish invasion of Poland, and soon afterwards was rebuilt, with a new library. Further destruction took place during the Bar Confederation, when Polish rebels turned the abbey into their fortress.

In 1816, Austrian authorities liquidated the abbey, and in 1821-1826, it was the seat of the Bishop of Tyniec, Grzegorz Tomasz Ziegler. The monks, however, did not return to the abbey until 1939, and in 1947, remodelling of the neglected complex was initiated. In 1968, the Church of St. Peter and Paul was once again named the seat of the abbot. The church itself consists of a Gothic presbytery and a Baroque main nave. Several altars were created by an 18th-century Italian sculptor Francesco Placidi. The church also has a late Baroque pulpit by Franciszek Jozef Mangoldt.