Villa Thiene is a 16th-century villa at Quinto Vicentino. The building as it stands today is the work of several architects one of whom was Andrea Palladio. Like several other projects on which Palladio worked, it was commissioned by two brothers, in this case Marcantonio and Adriano Thiene. Since 1996, the villa has been conserved as part of a World Heritage Site, the 'City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto'. The World Heritage Site also includes the Palazzo Thiene in the city of Vicenza which belonged to same Thiene brothers.
Palladio was involved with Villa Thiene in the 1540s, making it one of his earlier works. He appears to have adapted a design by Giulio Romano. The extent of Romano's involvement in the project is not clear, in any case he died in Mantua in 1546 while the villa was still under construction. One of the Thiene brothers, Adriano Thiene, had to flee Vicenza in 1547 and building work appears to have been put on hold at that time.
A version of the villa is illustrated and discussed in I Quattro Libri dell'Architettura of 1570. As with a number of the villas described in Palladio's publication, there are differences between what was published and what was actually built. Palladio's plan indicates that the present building was not intended for the mansion itself, but for one of the agricultural wings. However, there are sixteenth-century frescoes in the building by Giovanni de Mio, suggesting that it was decided at an early state that the building would not be purely utilitarian.
The plan shows two courtyards which were never completed. Courtyards are rather unusual among Palladio's villas, but the architect also proposed courtyards for Villa Serego, another incomplete villa, where one of the courtyards was partially constructed.
The front and rear facades have been modified since the sixteenth century: the front facade is probably the closer to Palladio's intentions, although the brickword would originally have been rendered. The many holes were apparently done during wartime, to extract metal used within the villa's construction.
The garden facade of Villa Thiene has been attributed to eighteenth-century architect Francesco Muttoni. Both the thermal window in the concluding gable and portals in the centre part are displeasing. These elements cannot be reconciled with Palladio's formal idiom.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.