The Villa Pisani is a patrician villa designed by Andrea Palladio, located in Bagnolo, a hamlet in the comune of Lonigo.
The Pisani were a rich family of Venetian nobles who owned several Villas Pisani, two of them designed by Andrea Palladio. The villa at Bagnolo was built in the 1540s and represents Palladio's first villa designed for a patrician family of Venice (his earlier villa commissions were from provincial nobility in the Vicenza area). It was designed with rusticated features to complement its rural setting; in contrast, the Villa Pisani at Montagnana in a semi-urban setting utilizes more refined motifs.
In 1570 Palladio published a version of the villa in his Four Books of Architecture. The executed villa differs noticeably from the design. The deviations may have been in response to certain conditions on the actual site.
An engraved ground plan of 1778 by Ottavio Bertotti Scamozzi, gives a clear idea of the villa as it appeared in the 18th century. There was originally a long barchessa (wing) at the back of the courtyard terminating in dovecotes that kept the villa supplied with squab; this wing was admired by Vasari, but it was demolished in the nineteenth century and replaced by a structure that bears no relation to the Palladian facade it faces.
The interior features a central T-shaped salone with barrel vaulting inspired by Roman baths; it is decorated with frescoes.
In 1996, UNESCO included the villa in the World Heritage Site 'City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto'.References:
The Cloth Hall in Kraków dates to the Renaissance and is one of the city's most recognizable icons. It is the central feature of the main market square in the Kraków Old Town (listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1978).
The hall was once a major centre of international trade. Traveling merchants met there to discuss business and to barter. During its golden age in the 15th century, the hall was the source of a variety of exotic imports from the east – spices, silk, leather and wax – while Kraków itself exported textiles, lead, and salt from the Wieliczka Salt Mine.
Kraków was Poland's capital city and was among the largest cities in Europe already from before the time of the Renaissance. However, its decline started with the move of the capital to Warsaw in the very end of the 16th century. The city's decline was hastened by wars and politics leading to the Partitions of Poland at the end of the 18th century. By the time of the architectural restoration proposed for the cloth hall in 1870 under Austrian rule, much of the historic city center was decrepit. A change in political and economic fortunes for the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria ushered in a revival due to newly established Legislative Assembly or Sejm of the Land. The successful renovation of the Cloth Hall, based on design by Tomasz Pryliński and supervised by Mayor Mikołaj Zyblikiewicz, Sejm Marshal, was one of the most notable achievements of this period.
The hall has hosted many distinguished guests over the centuries and is still used to entertain monarchs and dignitaries, such as Charles, Prince of Wales and Emperor Akihito of Japan, who was welcomed here in 2002. In the past, balls were held here, most notably after Prince Józef Poniatowski had briefly liberated the city from the Austrians in 1809. Aside from its history and cultural value, the hall still is still used as a center of commerce.
On the upper floor of the hall is the Sukiennice Museum division of the National Museum, Kraków. It holds the largest permanent exhibit of the 19th-century Polish painting and sculpture, in four grand exhibition halls arranged by historical period and the theme extending into an entire artistic epoch. The museum was upgraded in 2010 with new technical equipment, storerooms, service spaces as well as improved thematic layout for the display.
The Gallery of 19th-Century Polish Art was a major cultural venue from the moment it opened on October 7, 1879. It features late Baroque, Rococo, and Classicist 18th-century portraits and battle scenes by Polish and foreign pre-Romantics.