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 Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius is a world famous spiritual centre of the Russian Orthodox Church and a popular site of pilgrimage and tourism. It is the most important working Russian monastery and a residence of the Patriarch. This religious and military complex represents an epitome of the growth of Russian architecture and contains some of that architecture’s finest expressions. It exerted a profound influence on architecture in Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe.
The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, was founded in 1337 by the monk Sergius of Radonezh. Sergius achieved great prestige as the spiritual adviser of Dmitri Donskoi, Great Prince of Moscow, who received his blessing to the battle of Kulikov of 1380. The monastery started as a little wooden church on Makovets Hill, and then developed and grew stronger through the ages.
Over the centuries a unique ensemble of more than 50 buildings and constructions of different dates were established. The whole complex was erected according to the architectural concept of the main church, the Trinity Cathedral (1422), where the relics of St. Sergius may be seen.
In 1476 Pskovian masters built a brick belfry east of the cathedral dedicated to the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. The church combines unique features of early Muscovite and Pskovian architecture. A remarkable feature of this church is a bell tower under its dome without internal interconnection between the belfry and the cathedral itself.
The Cathedral of the Assumption, echoing the Cathedral of the Assumption in the Moscow Kremlin, was erected between 1559 and 1585. The frescoes of the Assumption Cathedral were painted in 1684. At the north-western corner of the Cathedral, on the site of the western porch, in 1780 a vault containing burials of Tsar Boris Godunov and his family was built.
In the 16th century the monastery was surrounded by 6 meters high and 3,5 meters thick defensive walls, which proved their worth during the 16-month siege by Polish-Lithuanian invaders during the Time of Trouble. They were later strengthened and expanded.
After the Upheaval of the 17th century a large-scale building programme was launched. At this time new buildings were erected in the north-western part of the monastery, including infirmaries topped with a tented church dedicated to Saints Zosima and Sawatiy of Solovki (1635-1637). Few such churches are still preserved, so this tented church with a unique tiled roof is an important contribution to the Lavra.
In the late 17th century a number of new buildings in Naryshkin (Moscow) Baroque style were added to the monastery.
Following a devastating fire in 1746, when most of the wooden buildings and structures were destroyed, a major reconstruction campaign was launched, during which the appearance of many of the buildings was changed to a more monumental style. At this time one of the tallest Russian belfries (88 meters high) was built.
In the late 18th century, when many church lands were secularized, the chaotic planning of the settlements and suburbs around the monastery was replaced by a regular layout of the streets and quarters. The town of Sergiev Posad was surrounded by traditional ramparts and walls. In the vicinity of the monastery a number of buildings belonging to it were erected: a stable yard, hotels, a hospice, a poorhouse, as well as guest and merchant houses. Major highways leading to the monastery were straightened and marked by establishing entry squares, the overall urban development being oriented towards the centrepiece - the Ensemble of the Trinity Sergius Lavra.
In 1993, the Trinity Lavra was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.