Villa Almerico Capra La Rotonda in Vicenza

Friday, 30 April 2021 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  7 minutes

© Mark Beston/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Mark Beston/cc-by-sa-3.0

Villa La Rotonda is a Renaissance villa just outside Vicenza in northern Italy designed by Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio. The villa’s correct name is Villa Almerico Capra Valmarana, but it is also known as “La Rotonda”, “Villa Rotonda”, “Villa Capra”, and “Villa Almerico Capra”. The name Capra derives from the Capra brothers, who completed the building after it was ceded to them in 1592. Along with other works by Palladio, the building is conserved as part of the World Heritage SiteCity of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto“.

The site selected was a hilltop just outside the city of Vicenza. Unlike some other Palladian villas of the Veneto, the building was not designed from the start to accommodate a working farm. This sophisticated building was designed for a site which was, in modern terminology, “suburban”. Palladio classed the building as a “palazzo” rather than a villa. The design is for a completely symmetrical building having a square plan with four facades, each of which has a projecting portico. The whole is contained within an imaginary circle which touches each corner of the building and centres of the porticos. The name La Rotonda refers to the central circular hall with its dome. To describe the villa, as a whole, as a rotunda is technically incorrect, as the building is not circular but rather the intersection of a square with a cross. Each portico has steps leading up to it, and opens via a small cabinet or corridor to the circular domed central hall. This and all other rooms were proportioned with mathematical precision according to Palladio’s own rules of architecture which he published in I quattro libri dell’architettura. Works spaces for the villa’s servants are hidden in a low level underneath the first floor, which is accessed via staircases hidden inside the walls of the central hall. The design reflected the humanist values of Renaissance architecture. In order for each room to have some sun, the design was rotated 45 degrees from each cardinal point of the compass. Each of the four porticos has pediments graced by statues of classical deities. The pediments were each supported by six Ionic columns. Each portico was flanked by a single window. All principal rooms were on the second floor or piano nobile. Building began in 1567. Neither Palladio nor the owner, Paolo Almerico, were to see the completion of the villa. Palladio died in 1580 and a second architect, Vincenzo Scamozzi, was employed by the new owners to oversee the completion. One of the major changes he made to the original plan was to modify the two-storey central hall. Palladio had intended it to be covered by a high semi-circular dome but Scamozzi designed a lower dome with an oculus (intended to be open to the sky) inspired by the Pantheon in Rome. The dome was ultimately completed with a cupola.

Garden © Zairon/cc-by-sa-4.0 © Hans A. Rosbach/cc-by-sa-3.0 Interior © Hans A. Rosbach/cc-by-sa-3.0 Interior © Hans A. Rosbach/cc-by-sa-3.0 Interior © Hans A. Rosbach/cc-by-sa-3.0 Interior © Dogears/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Ivan Vighetto/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Mark Beston/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Quinok/cc-by-sa-4.0
<
>
Interior © Hans A. Rosbach/cc-by-sa-3.0
The interior design of the Villa was to be as wonderful, if not more so, than the exterior. Alessandro and Giovanni Battista Maganza and Anselmo Canera were commissioned to paint frescoes in the principal salons. Among the four principal salons on the piano nobile are the West Salon (also called the Holy Room, because of the religious nature of its frescoes and ceiling), and the East Salon, which contains an allegorical life story of the first owner, Paolo Almerico, his many admirable qualities portrayed in fresco. The highlight of the interior is the central, circular hall, surrounded by a balcony and covered by the domed ceiling; it soars the full height of the main house up to the cupola, with walls decorated in trompe-l’œil. Abundant frescoes create an atmosphere that is more reminiscent of a cathedral than the principal salon of a country house.

From the porticos, views of the surrounding countryside can be seen; this is no coincidence as the Villa was designed to be in perfect harmony with the landscape. This was in complete contrast to such buildings as Villa Farnese of just 16 years earlier. Thus, while the house appears to be completely symmetrical, it actually has certain deviations, designed to allow each facade to complement the surrounding landscape and topography. Hence, there are variations in the facades, in the width of steps, retaining walls, etc. In this way, the symmetry of the architecture allows for the asymmetry of the landscape, and creates a seemingly symmetrical whole. The landscape is a panoramic vision of trees and meadows and woods, with Vicenza on the horizon. The northwest portico is set onto the hill as the termination of a straight carriage drive from the principal gates. This carriageway is an avenue between the service blocks, built by the Capra brothers, who acquired the Villa in 1591; they commissioned Vincenzo Scamozzi to complete the villa and construct the range of staff and agricultural buildings.

In 1994 UNESCO designated the building as part of a World Heritage Site. The last owner of the villa was Mario di Valmarana († Oct. 13, 2010), a former professor of architecture at the University of Virginia. It was his declared ambition to preserve Villa Rotonda so that it may be appreciated by future generations. The interior is open to the public on Wednesdays and Saturdays, except during the winter months, and the grounds are open every day.

Read more on La Rotonda and Wikipedia Villa Almerico Capra La Rotonda (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




Recommended posts:

Share this post: (Please note data protection regulations before using buttons)

Camembert in Normandy

Camembert in Normandy

[caption id="attachment_235516" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © panoramio.com - jean melis/cc-by-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Camembert is a commune in the Orne department in north-western France with a population of 170. The village is most noted for the early development of camembert cheese by Marie Harel in 1791 (List of French cheeses). [gallery size="large" gss="1" ids="235511,235512,235513,235514,235515,235516"]Camembert has been called "The largest small village in France." This is because the area of the commu...

[ read more ]

Theme Week County Cork - Kinsale

Theme Week County Cork - Kinsale

[caption id="attachment_223815" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © flickr.com - psyberartist/cc-by-2.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Kinsale (Irish: Cionn tSáile, meaning 'head of the brine') is an historic port and fishing town in County Cork, Ireland, which also has significant military history. Located approximately 25 km (16 mi) south of Cork City on the southeast coast near the Old Head of Kinsale, it is located at the mouth of the River Bandon. Its population was 5,281 at the 2016 census. Its population increases during the ...

[ read more ]

Cîteaux Abbey in Saint-Nicolas-lès-Cîteaux

Cîteaux Abbey in Saint-Nicolas-lès-Cîteaux

[caption id="attachment_234726" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © Arnaud 25/cc-by-sa-4.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Cîteaux Abbey (French: Abbaye de Cîteaux) is a Catholic abbey located in Saint-Nicolas-lès-Cîteaux, south of Dijon, France. It is notable for being the original house of the Cistercian order. Today, it belongs to the Trappists (also called the Cistercians of the Strict Observance). The abbey has about 35 members. The monks produce a cheese branded under the abbey's name, as well as caramels and honey-based can...

[ read more ]

Theme Week China - Wuhan

Theme Week China - Wuhan

[caption id="attachment_200972" align="aligncenter" width="590"] East Lake © gugganij/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Wuhan is the capital of Hubei province, People's Republic of China. It's the most populous city in Central China, and one of the nine National Central Cities of China. It lies in the eastern Jianghan Plain on the middle reaches of the Yangtze River's intersection with the Han river. Arising out of the conglomeration of three cities, Wuchang, Hankou, and Hanyang, Wuhan is known as 'China's Thoroughfare', i...

[ read more ]

Karakorum in Mongolia

Karakorum in Mongolia

[caption id="attachment_233279" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Karakorum model in the National Museum of Mongolian History in Ulaan-Baatar © Brücke-Osteuropa[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Karakorum was the capital of the Mongol Empire between 1235 and 1260 and of the Northern Yuan dynasty in the 14–15th centuries. Its ruins lie in the northwestern corner of the Övörkhangai Province of modern-day Mongolia, near the present town of Kharkhorin and adjacent to the Erdene Zuu Monastery, which is likely the oldest surviving Buddhi...

[ read more ]

A-Rosa on the Rhône/Saône: Travel with all senses.

A-Rosa on the Rhône/Saône: Travel with all senses.

[caption id="attachment_153815" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © A-Rosa Luna[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Treat yourself to French savoir vivre – on trips through Provence and Camargue to the Mediterranean coast. In Europe’s most beautiful countryside, you will not be able to get enough of the picturesque scenery: world-famous wine-growing regions such as the Côte d’Or, unique landscapes such as Burgundy, or the coastal vistas of the Côte d’Azure. But you won’t just love the views: our culinary treats on board comple...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Ireland - Waterford

Theme Week Ireland - Waterford

[caption id="attachment_171155" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Waterford by night © geograph.org.uk - Typhoon/cc-by-sa-2.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Waterford (from Old Norse Veðrafjǫrðr, meaning "ram (wether) fjord", Irish: Port Láirge) is a city in the South-East Region and is part of the province of Munster. The city is situated at the head of Waterford Harbour. It is the oldest and the fifth most populous city in the Republic of Ireland. It is the eighth most populous city on the island of Ireland. Waterford City and ...

[ read more ]

Sendlinger Straße in Munich

Sendlinger Straße in Munich

[caption id="attachment_237712" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Sendlinger Tor © GraphyArchy/cc-by-sa-4.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Sendlinger Straße is an important shopping street in Munich's city center. It extends into the Munich old town in the south-east-northeast direction from the Sendlinger Tor in the west to the point where Fürstenfelder Straße and the Rindermarkt meet in the east. In July 2016, the conversion from a one-way street into a pedestrian zone was attempted. The Sendlinger Straße was named afte...

[ read more ]

The Motor City of Detroit

The Motor City of Detroit

[caption id="attachment_3587" align="aligncenter" width="590" caption="Oscar Mayer Wienermobile - Henry Ford Museum © Cory Doctorow"][/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="Deutsch Female" buttontext="Diesen Beitrag vorlesen"]Detroit is the major city among the primary cultural, financial, and transportation centers in the Metro Detroit area, a region of 5.2 million people. As the seat of Wayne County, the city of Detroit is the largest city in the U.S. state of Michigan and serves as a major port on the Detroit River connecting the Great Lakes system to the Saint Lawrence Seaway. It was fou...

[ read more ]

La Défense near Paris

La Défense near Paris

[caption id="attachment_7006" align="aligncenter" width="590"] La Défence and the Grande Arche from the top of the Arc de Triomphe © Hofi0006/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]La Défense is a major business district of the Paris aire urbaine. With a population of 20,000, it is centered in an orbital motorway straddling the Hauts-de-Seine département municipalities of Nanterre, Courbevoie, and Puteaux. The district is at the westernmost extremity of Paris's 10 km long Historical Axis, which starts at the Louvre in Centra...

[ read more ]

Return to TopReturn to Top
© flickr.com - Bengt Nyman/cc-by-2.0
Waitemata Harbour in Auckland

Waitematā Harbour is the main access by sea to Auckland, New Zealand. For this reason it is often referred to...

Bow Creek Lighthouse © Grim23/cc-by-sa-3.0
Trinity Buoy Wharf in London

Trinity Buoy Wharf is the site of a lighthouse, by the confluence of the River Thames and Bow Creek on...

Palacio Municipal © Pitxiquin/cc-by-sa-4.0
Theme Week Peru – Chiclayo, Capital of Friendship

Chiclayo is the principal city of the Lambayeque region in northern Peru. It is located 13 kilometers inland from the...

Schließen