Venice owned a large part of Italy and Greece. Their power reigned over the land and to show its power they chose the lion. All over northern Italy you will see statues of lions. Lions sitting, lions guarding important doorways, and even lions in churches.
So when you see a lion..... you know why.
Tourist Office, Borgo Udine, 4, telephone 039 0432 924815
Municipal History Museum Borgo Udine 4 telephone 039 0432 929106
Military History Museum Porta Cividale telephone 039 0432 928175
Palmanova was an important city during WWI as the Italian Army needed a hospital that would be near the front, and there was also buildings housing the munitions. During the battle of Caporetto, the Italian front was pushed back, and Palmanova was burned so as not to furnish the Austrian army anything of use. Later the Italian army made an offensive and pushed the Austrians back and the war was concluded with Italy receiving a large part of this area and Trieste.
You can have a guided tour of Palmanova every Saturday from June 9 to September 8 (2012)
Departing at 930 from the Tourist Office, found just off the Piazza.
There is being offfered free wine tasting at the end of the tour.
There are 4 old gates in which one can enter Palmanova. The more southern gates seem to have more items of museum interest. Pictured here is the Udine Gate.
It was built in 1605. The wall was reinforced under the command of Bonaparte to give more protection from artillery placed outside.
On the north side of the Grand Piazza is a wonderful cathedral, the inside being interesting with paintings and the usual hand crafted work from the past.
Inside can be found a Saint, preserved in a glass casket, and paintings on the ceiling over the altar. Their are more modern stained glass windows using special glass from Venice, and this is quite different than most churches in this part of Italy... Very nice touch!
It's very original and simple, the conception of the city - a large hexagonal square, with six streets starting from it, three of them to the city's doors the other three to the ramparts, connected with concentric streets forming successive haxagons. It's impossible to beat Google Earth, in a photo revealing this structure, but... we have Google Earth, and, being there, we may add some details.
Facing the hexagonal large central square, the Cathedral was begun in the beginning of the 17th century and finished in the middle of it. It is a wide space, without any columns, which means that it is easy to see at a single glance the three chapels of the choir, the four side altars, the organ with the chancel and the suspended pulpit.
In 1500, preventing Saracen raids, the Venetians sent Leonardo da Vinci to Friuli to study the defence system on the river Isonzo and at Gradisca.
The fortified town of Palmanova, built in 1593, is one of the more important and better preserved examples of late Renaissance military architecture.
Since then Palma was ruled by the Venetian until being conquered by Napoleon. After Napoleon's fall Palmanova was disputed by the Habsburg empire and the Austrian, until its final return to Italy in 1866.
The defense system consists in three walls built along the centuries to answer to the successive menaces as the weapons were being improved:
By the end of the XVI century, the use of artillery demanding wide, low and strong ramparts justified a first defence circle, surrounded by a moat, with nine arrow-shaped ramparts linked by nine straight walls.
In the 17th century another 9 ramparts were added outside of the moat.
Finally, in 1806, Napoleon ordered the third defence circle, far from the city, to keep artillery as far as possible.
It is without surprise that I found that it is UNESCO heritage. Of course!
The impressive Piazza Grande stands in the middle of the six stars shaped fortress of enourmous proportions. It is one of the biggest squares in whole Italy and certainly one of the most beautiful.
Unfortunatelly, the city of Palmanova is less known destination and one of the most underrated. Do not miss to visit it if traveling by car in direction of Trieste or Udine, it worth to stop here.
There are pair of interesting columns, standing right in front of Palazzo del Provveditore Generale. Unfortunately, I couldn't find out to whom they are dedicated. Perhaps some local member from this region can help me about.
The fortification sector is a real open-air museum with Venetian and Frencj fortified structures. Palmanova was built to be a war machine and its creation is designed along military lines and needes.
The bastione or baluardo (bastion or bulwark) is one of the most typical elements of Palmanova. It is an arrow-point-shaped rampart and on its corners are located the logge, shelters provided with a gallery to reach the bastion.
The sortie is a wide way out towards the moat. At the end of this way there is the falsabraga, an embankment parallel to the curtain, used to hide the troops' movings from the inner to the outer fortifications.
Outside Porta Udine there is a curious construction (remaind on ancient aquaeducts from Roman period) made of Istrian white stone. It is the Aqueduct which took the water for civil use into the city. Water for military use was flowing in the fortress surrounding moat.
Six radial roads tend to Piazza Grande; three borghi and three contrade. On each of the corners there are pair of statuetes representating the Provveditori Generali, the Venetian governors who ruled the place over the past centuries.
Cathedral of the Doge has long and interesting history. A lot of years went by from the decision of its building, in 1594, to the laying of its foundation stone. Its facade was built in 1615, in 1635 it was roofed but only in 1777 officially consacrated.
The richly decorated facade in Baroque style is characterized by two sequences of columns in Doric and Corinthian order and statuetes.
The Duomo is adorned by many important works of art, while the massive bell tower from 1776 rises up adjoining the building.
Loggia della Gran Guardia was the seat of the fort's troops who had to defend Provveditore Generale, the Venetian Governor of the place.
Adjoining to the Loggia is the Palazzo del Provveditore Generale, housing today the Town Hall. It was built in 1596 and enlarged in 1611.