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.

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Details

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

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Federico Milan (17 months ago)
Good to understand Vicenza's history and architecture
Bo Batten (18 months ago)
Great history and very beautiful at night.
Alex Drago (18 months ago)
Amazing building in Vicenza's city centre. This in in Piazza dei Signori which is surrounded by other historical buildings. At Christmas the whole square is illuminated and the Christmas market attracts many people to this place. Hot chocolate, mulled wine and local food to go available at every corner and to warm us up!
David Oberholtzer (2 years ago)
Lots of high quality local shops around the piazza. Interesting exhibits periodically in the basilica. On market days you can shop the vendors who set up tents in and around the piazza.
Dorotea Pecaric (2 years ago)
An architectural gem. A public space to be used by all for everything. Court room, assembly, communal living room, housing shops and halls. Wonderful propotions so it sits nicely in the middle of the main piazza in spite of being of huge measures. Loved it!
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