Castle of Moncalieri
|Residences of the Royal House of Savoy|
|Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List|
|Criteria||C (i) (ii) (iv) (v)|
|UNESCO region||Europe and North America|
|Inscription||1997 (21st Session)|
The Castle of Moncalieri is a palace in Moncalieri (province of Turin), Piedmont, in northern Italy. It is one of the Residences of the Royal House of Savoy listed by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites in 1997.
The first structure was a fortress built by Thomas I of Savoy around 1100 on a hill, to command the main southern access to Turin. In the mid-17th century Yolanda of Valois, wife of Duke Amadeus IX, turned it into a pleasure residence. Architect Carlo di Castellamonte enlarged the construction substantially, and the interiors were redesigned by him and other local artists.
The castle was the site of the marriage between Maria Vittoria Francesca of Savoy to the Prince of Carignano. It was also the place where Maria Carolina of Savoy married Anthony of Saxony by proxy in 1781.
The castle was used extensively by the Savoyards, and was the first castle occupied in 1798 by the French armies, who retained it until 1814. Returned to Victor Emmanuel I of Sardinia and later to his distant nephew Charles Albert of Sardinia, Prince of Carignano, it became the residence of young family princes who studied here. King Victor Emmanuel II preferred it to the Royal Palace of Turin, and had numerous apartments furnished according to his tastes. In 1849 it was the seat of the famous proclaim in favour of Massimo D'Azeglio, and later was used by the Mother Queens and royal princesses.
Since 1921 it has been the home of the 1st Battalion of the Carabinieri, but the historical rooms can be freely visited.
On April 5, 2008, a fire broke out in the castle, damaging one of the towers and the hall of the proclaim.
The current structure of the castle is in the shape of a horseshoe facing south, with four massive square towers at each angle. The side sections have fived floors, brick walls and robust buttresses. Two other minor buildings parallel the side sections and create two courts. The southern façade has a giardino all'italiana and two small cylindrical towers, last remains of the 15th-century castle. The northern entrance has also a notable belvedere.
- "Italian castle in flames". Reuters. 2008-04-05.
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