Valentino Castle, Turin


Valentino Castle
ital. Castello del valentino
45 ° 03′15 ″ s w. 7 ° 41′07 ″ c. d. H G I O L
A country Italy
Wikimedia Commons Media Files
UNESCO World Heritage Site, Object No. 823
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Valentino Castle (Castello del valentino) Is one of the Turin residences of the House of Savoy, which is under the protection of UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

The residence arose as a fortified castle in the Middle Ages and was named after the nearby church of St. Valentine In connection with the move from Chambery to Turin, the castle in the shape of a horseshoe was bought by the Duke Emanuel Philibert. It acquired its present form in the middle of the 17th century, when it was completely rebuilt in the French style, commissioned by the regent Christine of France, who lived here (widow of the Duke Victor Amadeus).

In the XIX century, the castle fell into disrepair, but in 1860, serious restoration work was carried out in connection with its transfer to the engineering department of the local university. In 1900, the first Turin Motor Show was held here. Currently, the building houses the Faculty of Architecture. The castle courtyard has been adapted to the University Botanical Garden since 1713.

History of the castle of Valentino

The exact date of construction of the building and its architect are unknown. For the first time the castle with its current name is mentioned in 1275. The well-documented history of this estate begins in 1564. After the transfer of the capital of Savoy to Turin, the Duke Emanuele Filiberto bought the castle from the nobleman Renato Birago. Then it was an elegant villa on the banks of the Po River. In 1575-1578, they reconstructed a new owner. But a more extensive alteration began in 1620 by order of the wife of Vittorio Amedeo I - Cristina. The project was led by Carlo di Castellamonte, and after his death, his son Amedeo di Castellamonte, who became the chief architect of the royal house. As a result, an area was created in front of the converted castle, which was rebuilt according to the French pavilion scheme, adding two symmetrical wings. The work was completed in 1660.

The occupation of Turin by Napoleon at the beginning of the 19th century brought changes: the Veterinary School and then the Royal Artillery Corps were located in the castle. In 1850, the building was returned to state ownership. In 1859, the Royal School for Engineers was located here. After that, until the end of the 19th century, a number of reconstructions and completion of new premises were carried out here. In 1900, the castle hosted the first exhibitions of the famous Turin Motor Show. In 1906, the school was transformed into the architectural faculty of the University of Turin, located in the premises of the castle to this day. In 1997, the castle became part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Architecture and interior of the castle

Around the castle lies the most beautiful Valentino Park, created by order of Vittorio Amedeo II in 1713. The castle is central in it. In front of him there is a beautiful square with flower beds. The mansion itself has the shape of a horseshoe with four rectangular towers at the corners of the building. Its wide courtyard is paved with marble tiles with beautiful ornaments. On the facade flaunts a huge coat of arms of the royal house of Savoy. After several reconstructions, the castle acquired an interesting feature. Its front part is made in the typical French style "transalpino" with air pavilions. But the side facing the river is strikingly different and has the characteristic appearance of the baroque prevailing throughout Turin. Vivid contrast makes the castle even more attractive.

The building has 3 floors. The first one previously housed office and servant rooms, as well as a beautiful hunting room, a chapel in the northwest pavilion and an atrium. The latter, supported by columns, has many frescoes and bas-reliefs of the 17th century. The third floor is an attic, towering above the main building of the castle in several places. The roof of the castle is also a work of art, it is made in the same French pavilion style as the main facade. The main or noble floor is impressive. There are many luxurious halls and rooms, among which are:

  • Hall of Honor. He fights on the spot with his frescoes of the 17th century. They are amazing, made so that the impression of a completely different space and time. From it you can get into the chambers of the duchess and the heir's room.
  • Zodiac hall. Its highlight is jewelry in the form of gilded frames, bas-reliefs and frescoes. In the central part of the ceiling there is a fresco with scenes from Ovid's work “Metamorphoses”. Among the reliefs there are images of zodiac signs and spouses of the royal dynasty. In the corners there are figures of deities from ancient mythology, as well as illustrations of the spring and autumn equinox, winter and summer solstices.
  • Hercules's room. Completely white room with many ornaments and bas-reliefs depicting all the exploits of the mythological hero.
  • Room Vallantino. Its ceiling is decorated with a picture of Flora, collecting flowers, surrounded by Apollo, the centaur of Chiron, muses and children. But instead of Flora, the Duchess Christina is painted. The picture is framed by rich gilded reliefs.

On the main floor there is also green and pink, a military room, a lily room and a hunting room. All of them are decorated with rich ornaments, frescoes and bas-reliefs. Now in the castle, in addition to the faculty of architecture, there are 2 libraries and divisions of the city hall.

Interesting Facts

There are three versions of the origin of the name.

  1. Even in ancient Roman times there was the Vallantinum district. Most likely, it was he who gave the name to the castle itself, and to a small stream flowing now underground.
  2. The second suggests that the owner of the castle, the French Renato Birago, had a wife, Valentina, in whose honor he named the estate.
  3. The third, more romantic, version refers to the church located once near the castle, bearing the name of St. Valentine, the patron saint of all lovers.

Thanks to the latter, the castle has become a favorite place for couples to visit both locals and tourists. A special influx of the latter is here on February 14, Valentine's Day. Today, various events and exhibitions are regularly held on the premises of the building.

How to get there

The castle is located on the banks of the Po River, in the San Salvario district, on Viale Mattioli 39, in the park. There are many monuments, beautiful fountains in the park around the castle, including the Fountain for months, as well as a medieval village. The Botanical Garden is now located in the former castle garden, and the Anatomical Museum is located near the southern end of the park. Near the palace there is a tram stop Valentino routes 9, 16CS, 16CD. 10 minutes away is the Marconi metro station and the bus stop of the same name on routes 1, 18, 24, 35, 67, 93 /, 101, S18.

Working hours: every day from 10:00 to 19:45. Holidays are days off. Tours are held on the first and third Saturday of the month, at 10:00 and 11:30, by prior reservation. For groups of more than 15 people an excursion in English is possible. Phone (+39) 011 0906655.

input: Reservation by deposit of EUR 3.5. When visiting, he returns. April 2018 data.

Photo and description

Valentino Castle (Castello del Valentino) is a historic building in Turin, located in the eponymous park and occupied by the Faculty of Architecture of the Polytechnic University of Turin. It is also one of the residences of the royal Savoy dynasty, in 1997 included in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list.

The ancient castle was bought by the Duke Emmanuel Filiberto of Savoy on the advice of Andrea Palladio. The name Castello del Valentino, first encountered in 1275, probably comes from the name of St. Valentine, revered in a nearby church. The current building owes its appearance to Princess Christine Maria of France, the wife of Victor Amadeus I, who lived in the castle since 1630.

Castello del Valentino has a horseshoe shape with four round towers in the corners and a spacious patio paved with marble. The ceilings of the upper floors are made in a typical transalpine style. On the facade of the castle flaunts a huge family coat of arms of the Savoy dynasty.

At the beginning of the 19th century, small restoration work was carried out in the castle, since most of the interiors were damaged by French troops during the Napoleonic Wars. However, then Castello del Valentino was for some time in an abandoned state and gradually began to decline. Only in 1860, after the building was chosen for the Faculty of Engineering of Turin, restoration work began. On the castle lands is also the Botanical Garden of the University of Turin.

Separately, it is worth mentioning the Valentino park, in the territory of which there is a castle. This is a popular holiday destination among citizens. The park stretches along the western bank of the Po River on an area of ​​500 thousand square meters. - This is the second largest park in Turin after the Pellerina Park. Valentino Park was opened in 1856 and, by the way, became the first public park in Italy. On its territory, in addition to the aforementioned castle and the Botanical Garden, you can see a medieval villa, Villa Llicini, underground pavilions of the Turin exhibition and a special exhibition dedicated to Enzo Ferrari.