Villa Trissino was mainly built in the 16th century and is associated by tradition with the architect Andrea Palladio. The building is of undeniable importance in the Palladio 'mythos'. Since 1994 the villa has been part of a World Heritage Site which was designated to protect the Palladian buildings of Vicenza and Veneto area.
It is uncertain whether this villa was designed by Palladio, but it is one of the centres if not, in fact, the origin of his myth. For, tradition holds that right here, in the second half of the 1530s, the Vicentine noble Giangiorgio Trissino (1478–1550) met the young mason Andrea di Pietro at work on the building of his villa. Somehow intuiting the youth’s potential and talent, Trissino took charge of his future formation, introduced him into the Vicentine aristocracy and, in the space of a few years, transformed him into the architect who bore the aulic name of Palladio.
Trissino did not demolish the pre-existing building, but redesigned it to give priority to the principal facade facing south. This gesture was a sort of manifesto of membership in the new constructional culture based on the rediscovery of ancient Roman architecture. Between the two existing towers Trissino inserted a two-storey, arcaded loggia. Trissino reorganised the spaces into a sequence of lateral rooms, which differ in dimensions but are linked by a system of inter-related proportions, a matrix which would become a key theme in Palladio’s design method.
Building works were certainly concluded by 1538. At the end of the eighteenth century the Vicentine architect Ottone Calderari heavily modified the structure, and in the first years of the twentieth century a second campaign of works cancelled out the last traces of the Gothic building by accomplishing its belated “Palladianisation”.References:
Heidelberg Castle is a famous ruin and one of the the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps. The rich and eventful history of Heidelberg Palace began when the counts palatine of the Rhine, – later prince electors – established their residence at Heidelberg. The earliest castle structure was built before 1214 and later expanded into two castles circa 1294; however, in 1537, a lightning-bolt destroyed the upper castle. Until the Thirty Years’ War, Heidelberg Palace boasted one of the most notable ensembles of buildings in the Holy Roman Empire. The present structures had been expanded by 1650, before damage by later wars and fires. In 1764, another lightning-bolt caused a fire which destroyed some rebuilt sections.
The 19th century brought a new wave of admiration: a sight both terrible and beautiful, the ruins epitomised the spirit of the Romantic movement. Heidelberg Palace was elevated to a national monument. The imposing edifice and its famous garden, the Hortus Palatinus, became shrouded in myth. The garden, the last work commissioned by the prince electors, was never completed. Some remaining landscaped terraces and other vestiges hint at the awe-inspiring scale of this ambitious project. In the 17th century, it was celebrated as the “eighth wonder of the world”. While time has taken its toll, Heidelberg Palace’s fame lives on to this day.
Heidelberg Castle is located 80 metres up the northern part of the Königstuhl hillside, and thereby dominates the view of the old downtown. Set against the deep green forests on the north flank of Königstuhl hill, the red sandstone ruins tower majestically over the Neckar valley.