The route from Vicenza Train Station to the city’s sights leads through the Castello Gate. The gate (not only this, but several more, in different parts of the city), naturally, remained from the city fortifications. And this tower is the only thing left from the castle, existing here, even before the beginning of the construction of the walls - hence the name.
Vicenza has preserved quite a lot of gates - judging by the map, almost all of them are. Unfortunately, I did not manage to bypass them all, but I visited the oldest gate (Luso). Originally it was the tower of the house of the Lyutsiy family. The name of the gate comes either from this family (Lucii), or from the pike (luccio), which was caught nearby and struck the inhabitants with its size, or from the sacred tree (lucus), which grew nearby.
Porton del Luzo (XI-XIV century)
The next attraction on the way to the city center is the church of St. Marseille (also known as Filippini, after the name of the urban area of San Filippo Neri). It was built on the site of an old Jesuit church and took about 100 years to build, because time was not very suitable for building - the economic crisis and the Napoleonic wars that followed.
Vicenza Cathedral is a strange long brick building with a
separate dome and a white-stone facade.
The first church on this site appeared in the third century - it was located first in a former Roman building, and then in a specially built. This church was destroyed in the seventh century by the Huns, in the twelfth earthquake, and each time it was restored on a larger scale. The oldest part of the present building is the thirteenth-century apse.
During World War II, the cathedral suffered greatly from the Anglo-American bombardment, which destroyed the dome, a large part of the nave and severely damaged the facade and southern chapels. The frescoes that covered the inner walls were irretrievably lost.
As a result of all these reorganizations and destructions, the
bell tower was located separately from the Cathedral, on the
other side of the street. Moreover, it is the oldest of its
The base of the tower is the remains of a tenth-century defensive structure, which was intended to protect the cathedral and the Episcopal palace (it was probably part of the wall). The walls reach 4 m. thickness. The building material was the slab of destroyed Roman buildings, which is perfectly visible by the color of the stones.
A typical Romanesque bell tower was attached in the twelfth century.
Campanile della cattedrale (X-XII century)
The Cathedral is tightly surrounded by houses, so Vicenza’s main square is not here. Piazza Signori, is a little further. As the name implies, here was the city magistrate, in a building now called the Basilica Paladiana.
Piazza dei Signori
Piazza dei Signori
By the way, the basilica is not necessarily a church, but simply a type of building consisting of several naves (elongated rooms). Naturally, most often, it was the church, but in this case it was originally the palace of the local signore - the Palazzo della Ragione. The work on restructuring the palazzo for the needs of the city administration was entrusted to the architect Andrea Palladio - hence the second name.
Palazzo della Ragione - Basilica Paladiana
Palazzo della Ragione - Basilica Palladiana (XV-XVI century)
The basilica is adjoined by the oldestt building, from the
surviving on the square - the tower of Bissar. This, even
now, is one of the tallest buildings in Vicenza - 82 meters. The
tower was located next to the Bissarro family palace. Both that,
after a while, was bought by the municipality. In the fifteenth
century, the tower was built on, the relics of the saints were
placed inside, and five bells were raised to the top. In
subsequent centuries, the tower was decorated with a triumphal
arch and a bas-relief with a lion of St. Mark.
In 1945, the Anglo-American bombardment destroyed part of the basilica and the upper part of the tower. The bells fell to the ground and broke. In the process of restoration, both were restored, but not quite in the same way.
On the other side of the Paladiano Basilica, there is another medieval tower, del Girone (since it was once surrounded by water) or the del Tormento (because it was used as a prison). It is connected to the palace arch Zawatteri.
On the other side of the Piazza dei Señori is the Loggia del Capitanio. This is also a work by Andrea Palladio. Construction was carried out simultaneously with the restructuring of the basilica. The palace was supposed to replace the pre-existing late medieval building, which was already used as the residence of the captainio (representative of the Republic of Venice in Vicenza).
Palazzo del Capitanio
Palazzo del Capitaniato (XVI century)
The rest of the square is occupied by the Palazzo del Monte di
Pieta with the church Svín-Vincenzo built into it. The palace,
whose name literally translates as "Mount of Mercy", served as a
refuge for a kind of municipal bank that provided loans on more
favorable terms than others.
The church existed here before the building was built. After the appearance of the palace, the church was given to him. When repair was required, they tried to hold it in such a way as to at least a little smooth out the impression of the building being "torn".
Palazzo del Monte di Pieta and the Church of St. Vincent
Palazzo del Monte di Pietà - Chiesa di San Vincenzo (XIV-XVIII century)
Near the piazza Signori is located the church of st. Maria in Foro, the construction of which also did not go without Andrea Palladio. The portal of the church was made in the workshop of Palladio and is considered one of his earliest works.
There are several oratorios in Vicenza. They are all similar - apparently the fashion of oratorio spread during the heyday of neoclassicism. In general, the oratory, unlike the ordinary church, is intended for the prayers of a particular group or community, i.e. strangers are not allowed there. Accordingly, look at the interior decoration will not work.
Oratory of Gonfalone
Oratorio del Gonfalone (XVI century)
In the same style (neoclassical) in Vicenza there are several ordinary churches. Everything is pretty monotonous.
As in all Italian cities, the palaces of local nobility now and then meet in Vicenza, but, frankly, they are not particularly impressive.
Church of st. Crown was laid in 1261, especially for the storage of the thorn from the crown of Christ, which was presented to the local bishop Louis IX. Such an important relic allowed the church to become the center of the religious life of Vicenza and, over time, turn into a large monastic complex.
The Olimpico Theater is another creation by Andrea Palladio in
Vicenza. It is considered the oldest indoor theater in Europe.
The construction was carried out on the basis of existing
medieval buildings - a certain palazzo, in turn, built on the
site of earlier defensive structures.
The aim of the architect was to recreate the classic Roman theater in the new conditions.
Of all this diversity, I in Vicenza most liked the church of St.
The church in the style of Lombard gothic was built in just twenty years. This impressive speed was achieved thanks to generous funding from the Franciscans, who donated a third of the money confiscated from heretics.
In the fifteenth century, a vast monastery was located next to the church, and two centuries later, another appeared. At the same time, the first one was preserved almost in the same form, and from the second only one building remained, in which the school is located now.
The main decoration of the church - the portal, attached in the fifteenth century. The construction was financed by a certain usurer, who, thus, hoped to avoid the afterlife torment for his craft. :) He is depicted above the portal door, kneeling in the position of a penitent before the Mother of God, with saints Francis and Lorenzo, who ask mercy for him.
More about Vicenza - General description. How to get to Vicenza