Story of Valentino Castle
The Castle of Valentino is an historic building of Turin, is located in Valentino Park on the banks of the River Po. Today it is owned by the Politecnico di Torino, and is home to undergraduate courses (BA and MA) in Architecture. Since 1997 the castle is listed as a World Heritage Site as part of the serial site UNESCO Savoy Residences.
The old castle was bought by Emanuele Filiberto di Savoia, Duke Iron Head, on the advice of Andrea Palladio. This structure was home to noble families such as the Saintmerane, the stork, the Pacelli and Calvi, who bought six rooms in the castle. The origin of its name is uncertain. The first document in which it appears the name is Valentinium 1275 someone traces its name to Saint Valentine because his relics are preserved since 1700 in a glass case in the church of San Vito (on the hill close to the Valentino Park), transferred following the destruction of a nearby church to the current park . Some scholars argue that, in a remarkable blend of religious memory and high society, they used to celebrate a time in Turin river park, just 14 February (now Valentine’s Day) a gallant party in which each lady called Valentino his rider.
The castle owes its present form to Madama Reale, the young Maria Cristina of Bourbon, (wife of Victor Amadeus I of Savoy and daughter of Henry IV, the first king of the Bourbon branch of France). Just look at France the style of this beautiful building: four corner towers surround the building in a horseshoe shape, with wide floor courtyard. The current pavement with pebbles of white and blacks rivers dates back to the measures implemented in 1961. The roofs with two attic floors (false floors only) are typically transalpine and any architectural style reflects the tastes of the young princess. The works lasted almost 30 years, from 1633 to 1660 on projects of Carlo and Amedeo di Castellamonte the duchess Maria Cristina lived there since 1630 and admire the frescoes of Isidoro Bianchi of Campione d’Italy stucco of his sons Francesco and Pompeo. And to her it owes the scenic entrance arch on the facade with the royal coat of arms.
On the figure of Madama Reale they circulated malicious rumors, describing the castle of Valentino as a place of secret meetings with lovers who ended thrown down a well. Since the twenties of the nineteenth century the Valentino palace is used as a barracks of Pontieri Genius function that will remain unchanged until the early months of 1860. In the nineteenth century the castle underwent numerous interventions that distort the seventeenth-century structure pavilion-system. In 1858 they have hit the arcades connecting castellamontiani between the halls, a high floor above ground, and have built the high galleries on two floors designed by Domenico Ferri and Luigi Tonta. Starting in 1850-51 is planned the expansion of the city towards the south (today’s San Salvario) and soon the Castello del Valentino, from suburban building is urbanized. In 1855 it banned by the Turin Municipality the international competition for the design of the public park of Valentino, competition won by Jean-Baptiste Kettmann.Subject of restoration in recent years, the Castle is rediscovering the ancient splendor. The first floor rooms are opened one by one and are home to offices of the direction of the Department of Architecture and Design at the Politecnico di Torino. On 12 May 2007 he reopened the beautiful Zodiac room, with its central fresco depicting mythological river Po with the features of Poseidon.