The Piazza della SS. Annunziata was built by Amedeo di Castellamonte in the 16th century. The square is dedicated to Mary and the two statues over the columns shows it.
In the square you can see the church of the Natività di Maria Vergine (Nativity of Mary).
The garden of palace are beautiful. They were restored like the original ones. They are very similar to the ones in the Versailles Palace with flowers, lakes and fountains. The most beautiful and important fountain is the Fontana di Ercole.
The Cappella di Sant'Uberto (protector of the hunters) is a masterpiece of the Baroque style. It was built between 1716 and 1729 by Filippo Juvarra with the facade with bricks.
The chapel has got an octagonal shape. It has got two altars in the transept and four chapels on the diagonal. In the middle of the chapel there is the dome. Inside the church you can see two fantastic paintings of the Mary: one made by Sebastiano Ricci and one made by Francesco Trevisani.
The Sala di Diana is the most important room of the Reggia di Diana erected by Amedeo di Catellamonte between 1660 and 1663. This is the highest room of the whole palace with on the roof wonderful plasters. On the walls there are paintings showings the Dukes of Savoy.
Filippo Juvarra conceives the new space of the Galleria grande as a big "theater of light", open to South toward the Flowers Garden. He created and it realized a room 80 meters long and 12 meters wide and tall and it is proposed as the authentic symbol of the residence.
Juvarra revolutionizes the native rhythm of the windows: he inserts openings to arc, and to increase the light he created new oval windows; he finally decorates the inside with plasters showing trophies of war, groups of children and the virtues of the king.
The Galleria Grande was planned at the end of the 16th century by the architect Michelangelo Garove as exhibition room of the court. It is also the connection between the Palace and the stables. It was remodeled by Filippo Juvarra between 1716 and 1718.
In 1716 Filippo Juvarra became the master of the project of the palace. He projected the Galleria Grande (Great Gallery), the Chiesa di Sant'Uberto, the Citroneria and the Great stable. During the 17th century the works passed over the hands of many architects among which the most important is Benedetto Alfieri. With the French occupation in 1798 sterted the decline of the palace with the loosing of its fornitures and paintings.
In the 19th century the palace became a barracks untill the end of the Second War World.
At the end of the 1990 started the project Venaria Reale thanks the Regione Piemonte and Ministero per i Beni ed Attività Culturali
On October 2007, after 15 years of works, the Venaria Reale opened to the pubblic with the fantastic show La Reggia di Venaria e i Savoia
In the 16th century the duke Carlo Emanuele II of Savoy decided to built a new palace of delicious and of hunting for the court. The architect Amedeo di Castellamonte projected the village, the palace, the garden and the hunting's woods. The heart of the project was the Palazzo di Diana built between 1659 and 1679. In 1693 it was ransacked by the French troops.
From 1699 the architect Michelangelo Garove restored the whole palace creating a more imposing image for the Venaria, influenced by the French architecture: great tents united by galleries and roofs with mansards. The new architecture responded to the demands of Vittorio Amedeo II which was the first king of the Reign of Piedmont.
The royal rooms resemble a large apartment owned by the upper-middle class, rather than a palace. The interior was designed by the architect Domenico Ferri, who took on the role of " Palace Decorator" from Pelagio Palagi in 1856.
King Vittorio Emanuele II wanted an apartment similar to the residences he saw on his travels to France and England.
The rooms feature gaudy gold-platings, elaborate tapestries, hunting trophies, paintings with Renaissance angels, wreaths and flowers. The lacunar ceilings boast Renaissance-style decorations.
The most delicately furnished room belonged to Rosa Vercellana, beautiful Rosina, and features white-lacquered furniture. At the end of the corridor is the bedroom, which once belonged to the deceased Maria Adelaide. Vittorio chose a room for himself between the two ladies' rooms. However, he often slept with Rosina. On their bed-head there still remains the shadow of grease left by the hair gel of "Bigio the vain".
The sixteenth-century Roman garden inspired Amedeo of Castellamonte to create the parks which surrounded the Palace of Diana at Veneria Reale.
I Changes in taste and the need to represent Absolute Power - Vittorio Amedeo II was actually transforming the Dukedom into a kingdom - caused a general re-planning of both gardens and palace along the lines of French experimentation with the gardens of Versailles.
Michelangelo Garove proposed the new style at Venaria.
Filippo Juvarra, who followed Garove, created the Palace's main "scenery": the flower garden, which was part of the "Green Apartments".
From 1739 to 1767, the architect Benedetto Alfieri, who followed on from Filippo Juvarra's work on Veneria Reale, was also employed to work on the estate's new park.
Filippo Juvarra completed the architectural work for Venaria with the majestic layout of the citrus greenhouse and stables. They were two huge buildings, which were built during a five-year period from 1722 to 1727.
The stable measured forty-eight metres long and twelve metres wide and was covered by a fifteen-metre high vault. The Citrus Greenhouse was the same length but sixteen metres high and fourteen wide.
The cost of the buildings far exceeded the estimate, so much so that the contractors employed to do the work complained, though I rather glowing terms: "They made us build an extraordinarily high building (...) a building which looked more like a magnificent temple rather than a citrus greenhouse and stable".
The greenhouse, used to store the ornamental citrus plants during the winter, is a spectacular wing of the flower garden and its main entrance is at the start of one of the longest avenues: l'Allea Reale, the Royal Avenue. Inside, the greenhouse is vast with windows facing South in order to gain as much light as possible. The light filled the building, enhancing even the Northern wall, which lacked windows.
The church is dedicated to Saint Uberto, patron saint of all hunters. It was designed by Filippo Juvarra and building work began in 1716. It was completed by the end of the century, although the dome was never finished and was replaced by a trompe l'oeil.
The chapel was built away from the palace but linked to the nearby stables in a connecting system devised by Benedetto Alfieri.
The inside of the church, in the shape of a Greek cross, is bright and spectacular, including the main altar: a ciborium shaped like a small temple supported by flying angels.
The whole setting is illuminated by light from the window which opens up on the apse.
The internal decoration also houses works by painters such as Sebastiano Ricci, Francesco Trevisani, and Sebastiano Conca and a series of statues, "the four Church doctors", by sculptor Giovanni Baratta, which are displayed in the four niches of the cross.
The name 'Castelvecchio' (old castle) was given to the building standing at the entrance to the palace in Venaria. Today, it appears bearing two orthogonal necks. This is what remains of the original palace access road, which was designed by Amedeo of Castellamonte in 1659. Set on the axis of the urban system that aligned the village and the palace, the building had an enclosed court, with an open gallery running along three sides, and a spectacular main entrance surmounted by a bronze deer.
In the centre of the main interior, facing the entrance, stood a tower with a clock.
It was intended to mark a long central axis which ran from the village, through the State rooms, into the gardens and ended up at the Temple of Diana.
This lay-out was altered in 1699 by Michelangelo Garove, who wished to open up the view from the central court towards the city. He consequently pulled down the division between the village and the palace, which had been built by Castellamonte.
Benedetto Alfieri and his assistants added further touches to the entrance at a later date. They demolished part of the seventeenth-century wall along with the clock tower, which was then rebuilt alongside the current entrance. The porticoes facing the court were also closed in order to gain space for rooms on the upper floor.
Designed at the end of the seventeenth century by the architect Michelangelo Garove as the Court's "display" area and connection between the Palace and the stables, Diana's Gallery was later redesigned by Filippo Juvarra between 1716 and 1718.
He saw it as a grand "theatre of light", open on the southern side towards the flower garden. It had a majestic air to it, measuring over seventy metres long and about twelve metres in width and height, thus making it one of the most imposing areas on the estate.
Juvarra revolutionised the layout of the windows, inserting arched apertures underneath oval windows in order to increase the light.
Eventually he decorated the interior with rich stucco work and used it to emphasise royal virtue through the use of paintings, war trophies, suits of armour and groups of cherubs.
The road, which is lined with uniformly sober buildings, none of which are higher than twelve metres, opens up into "L'Annunziata" Square about halfway along. This square was originally intended to be the social heart of the city as well as a scenic stopping-off place before reaching the palace. Castellamonte's designs were inspired by Annunziata's collar, of central importance to Savoy decorative style . The layout was almost circular with small open shops within the circle under the baroque porticoes. The identical twinned facades faced the church of Santa Maria and the hospital. The more important buildings in the town were allocated to members of the court: the Carignano princes, the Marquis of Parella, Gabriella of Marolles, who was a favourite of King Carlo Emanuele II.