Villa Manin at Passariano was the residence of the last Doge of Venice, Ludovico Manin. Napoleon Bonaparte and Josephine de Beauharnais lived there for about two months in 1797. Here were conducted many interviews for the signing of the treaty between France and Austria known as the Treaty of Campoformio (17 October 1797).
Villa Manin is a monumental architectural complex built in the 16th century at the behest of the noble Friulian Antonio Manin who, at the loss of the dominion of the seas, focused on the resources offered by the mainland, setting up a farm and putting a manor house at his center. The first factory of the villa is dated between 1650 and 1660.
In the following years, the grandchildren Ludovico Manin I and Francesco IV took up the project, perhaps aided by the architect Giuseppe Benone. The original appearance of the 17th-century villa was radically different from the current one, due to the transformations and enlargements in 18th century by Ludovico II and Ludovico III, made first by the Venetian architect Domenico Rossi, and then by Giovanni Ziborghi, who between 1730 and 1740 did raise the barchesse (barn wings). The raising of the noble central core, built with the consulting of Giorgio Massari, was realized after 1745. The large garden (over 17 acres) in the back appears to be due to the will of the 'master of the house' Ziborghi.
Substantial interventions of 19th century, especially by Giannantonio Selva, modified the original garden, giving us today a place complicated by the alterations and replacements of the same tree species.
To the villa complex also belongs the chapel of Sant'Andrea, built 1708 by Domenico Rossi and located outside the square plaza adjoining the barchessa and to the east gate. The building is square with rounded corners. The façade, with gable and two pairs of columns at sides is adorned on the edge of the pediment with statues and marble groups by Pietro Baratta. Inside, in the sacristy, there are two marble altars by Giuseppe Bernardi-Torretti, and in the hall two other marble altars with altarpiece worked in relief by the same Torretti.
As well as a fine piece of architecture, the villa is also important for the 18th-century artworks. The villa is decorated with frescoes by Ludovico Dorigny, Jacopo Amigoni and Pietro Oretti, paintings by Francesco Fontebasso and sculptures by Torretti.
Villa Manin also contains a museum area of considerable interest for the tourist. The permanent exhibitions are a collection of antique carriages in the stables and an extensive armory, with pieces from the Casa della Contadinanza of Udine; many of its 350 rooms have been furnished with antique furniture and paintings from the Museum of Udine, including the so-called 'Chamber of Napoleon', where the famous emperor slept, who here signed the Treaty of Campoformio in 1797.References:
The Old Town Hall of Wrocław is one of the main landmarks of the city. The Old Town Hall's long history reflects developments that have taken place in the city since its initial construction. The town hall serves the city of Wroclaw and is used for civic and cultural events such as concerts held in its Great Hall. In addition, it houses a museum and a basement restaurant.
The town hall was developed over a period of about 250 years, from the end of 13th century to the middle of 16th century. The structure and floor plan changed over this extended period in response to the changing needs of the city. The exact date of the initial construction is not known. However, between 1299 and 1301 a single-storey structure with cellars and a tower called the consistory was built. The oldest parts of the current building, the Burghers’ Hall and the lower floors of the tower, may date to this time. In these early days the primary purpose of the building was trade rather than civic administration activities.
Between 1328 and 1333 an upper storey was added to include the Council room and the Aldermen’s room. Expansion continued during the 14th century with the addition of extra rooms, most notably the Court room. The building became a key location for the city’s commercial and administrative functions.
The 15th and 16th centuries were times of prosperity for Wroclaw as was reflected in the rapid development of the building during that period. The construction program gathered momentum, particularly from 1470 to 1510, when several rooms were added. The Burghers’ Hall was re-vaulted to take on its current shape, and the upper story began to take shape with the development of the Great Hall and the addition of the Treasury and Little Treasury.
Further innovations during the 16th century included the addition of the city’s Coat of arms (1536), and the rebuilding of the upper part of the tower (1558–59). This was the final stage of the main building program. By 1560, the major features of today’s Stray Rates were established.
The second half of the 17th century was a period of decline for the city, and this decline was reflected in the Stray Rates. Perhaps by way of compensation, efforts were made to enrich the interior decorations of the hall. In 1741, Wroclaw became a part of Prussia, and the power of the City diminished. Much of the Stray Rates was allocated to administering justice.
During the 19th century there were two major changes. The courts moved to a separate building, and the Rates became the site of the city council and supporting functions. There was also a major program of renovation because the building had been neglected and was covered with creeping vines. The town hall now has several en-Gothic features including some sculptural decoration from this period.
In the early years of the 20th century improvements continued with various repair work and the addition of the Little Bear statue in 1902. During the 1930s, the official role of the Rates was reduced and it was converted into a museum. By the end of World War II Town Hall suffered minor damage, such as aerial bomb pierced the roof (but not exploded) and some sculptural elements were lost. Restoration work began in the 1950s following a period of research, and this conservation effort continued throughout the 20th century. It included refurbishment of the clock on the east facade.