Villa Caldogno is attributed to Andrea Palladio. It was built for the aristocratic Caldogno family on their estate in the village of Caldogno near Vicenza.
A Latin inscription on the facade dates the completion of the building to 1570 when it belonged to Angelo Caldogno. However, Angelo's father, Losco Caldogno, appears to have started to build in the 1540s, probably incorporating walls from a pre-existing building. 1570 is possibly the date of the completion of the villa's decorative scheme.
The villa is not included in I Quattro Libri dell'Architettura, Palladio's treatise of 1570, in which the architect discussed a number of his creations. However, it is similar to certain villas, such as the Villa Saraceno, that Palladio is known to have created in the 1540s and 1550s.
The villa has frescoes by Giovanni Antonio Fasolo (1530-1572), who decorated Palladio's Teatro Olimpico, and Giovanni Battista Zelotti (1526-1578), who decorated a number of villas designed by Palladio. The frescoes at Villa Caldogno Nordera have been compared to Zelotti's work at Villa Foscari.
In 1996 UNESCO included the Villa Caldogno Nordera in the World Heritage Site 'City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto'. The villa is in municipal ownership and is open to the public.References:
The Château de Fougères is an impressive castle with curtain wall and 13 towers. It had three different enclosures, first for defensive purposes, second for day to day usages in peacetime and for safety of the surrounding populations in times of siege, the last enclosure was where the keep was situated.
The first wooden fort was built by the House of Amboise in the 11th century. It was destroyed in 1166 after it was besieged and taken by King Henry II of England. It was immediately rebuilt by Raoul II Baron de Fougères. Fougères was not involved in the Hundred Years' War until 1449 when the castle was taken by surprise by an English mercenary. In 1488 the French troops won the castle back after a siege and the castle lost its military role.
In the late 18th century the castle was turned into a prison. The owner in this period was the Baron Pommereul. In the 19th century the outer ward became an immense landscaped garden. A museum was established in the Mélusine Tower. During the Industrial Revolution, a shoe factory set up shop in the castle grounds.
The City of Fougères took ownership of the Château in 1892. It had been a listed Historical Monument since 1862. A major campaign was launched to clean up the castle walls. While the castle had retained many of its original features, some of the curtain walls needed to be cleared and certain sections required major repairs. The changes made in the 18th century were "reversed," and the castle was finally open to visitors. The first campaign of archaeological excavations, conducted in 1925, unearthed the ruins of the manor house.
Since then, the Château de Fougères has welcomed tens of thousands of visitors every year. The castle's excellent state of conservation, and the historical interest of its architecture, make Fougères an invaluable window onto the Middle Ages. From great lords to simple builders, generations of inhabitants have left their mark on these walls.