Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Palazzo Granducale

Palazzo Granducale, LivornoThe “Palazzo Granducale” (Grand Ducal Palace), opposite Town Hall in “Piazza del Municipio”, houses the offices of the “Provincia di Livorno”.It was built in the early 17th Century following a project by Antonio Cantagallina for the Grand Duke Ferdinando I. In 1629 Giovan Battista Santi enlarged the building and added the portico toward “Piazza d'Armi”, now “Piazza Grande”. It was used as a residence for visiting sovereigns.Palazzo Granducale, LivornoIn 1796, during the French invasion, Napoleone Bonaparte stayed here: the building was used as barracks and looted of part of its furniture. Since 1871 it housed various schools, then it was refurbished to become the seat of the Province in 1931.Palazzo Granducale, LivornoIn this old postcard you can see it on the right, facing “Piazza Vittorio Emanuele”, as it was called “Piazza Grande” about one hundred years ago. Heavily damaged during the war, it was demolished and rebuilt few meters back from the original position, to grant more visibility to Town Hall. Its facade and portico are reminiscent of the old “palazzo”, but the rest is a modern building.Palazzo Granducale, LivornoAn extensive cleaning of the travertine facade is still in progress.

23 comments:

tapirgal said...

This is another fascinating post. In the top photo, the coat of arms is on a metal that seems bolted together and much ore modern. Is that so? I've never seen anything like that.

Is the park still there? The old photo is so beautiful with the more ornate design and the park. It's hard to compare the loss of buildings in a war to the loss of people, but we can can mourn them anyway. It's sad to see the less interesting reconstructions. But better than nothing, or a Walmart.

Ilse said...

Once again, a very thoughtful post. And only one year doing this? You have done a lot of work. And certainly made connections throughout the world. Hats off to you!

Lucy the Cat said...

So many interesting and historical things. You live in a photographer's paradise. Great post.

James said...

Oops. Lucy the cat was actually me. I forgot to log out my wife. :)

Unseen Rajasthan said...

Beautiful and fantastic series of Lovely shots !! The first photo is amazing !!

Wolynski said...

They erected a new building to look like the old? I guess they really don't like change in Livorno. Love all the pink facedes.

Cezar and Léia said...

wow Napoleone invaded many countries!I love your posts because it's like a cool history lesson , your narratives about things and places are always very interesting!Thanks so much! :)
The old postcard is so precious!
Léia

Roberto S said...

The more I see old pictures and postcards of my own town, the more I think it used to be a really beautiful place to live, before cars claimed all green areas and waterlines.

joo said...

I love those old postcards you present here, it's nice to see how places have changed. The first photo is terrific!

Steffe said...

Some great historical info here, with matching photos and postcard.

B SQUARED said...

I love all the research you do for your posts. They are so well thought out and interesting. Best wishes for the coming year.

Halcyon said...

Very interesting post. I love getting my daily history lesson from you!

Per Stromsjo said...

So many Grand Dukes, so little time.

cieldequimper said...

Quel balcon magnifique. I wouldn't mind being a visiting sovereign!

Birdman said...

Interesting photos and history.

BlossomFlowerGirl said...

That is a very grand gate. I'd like a pair outside my place - think what the neighbours would say!
Boun Natale
Cheers.
Melbourne Daily Photo

Andreea said...

Interesting historical info. I find the new building a bit austere while the one in the old postcard looks a bit more elegant. Still, I like the idea of having a portico to remind of the old building.

The cars in the second photo look like an indication that the park is no longer there, is that right?

Vogon Poet said...

@ Roberto S - I can't agree more...

Hilda said...

I really like it that when your city rebuilds, it retains the beautiful old architectural designs. It has a sense of history that's admirable and enviable.

Vogon Poet said...

@ Andreea - Where were the gardens, just in the middle of our beautiful main square, now there is an ugly and graceless building built in the early 1950s.

JM said...

What an interesting story!

Stine in Ontario said...

I love it when you show an old photo and ten what it loos like today.

Ellie Vellie said...

Government bureaucrats always get the best views! Not fair, since most of the time they work to ruin the views from out windows:) Very stylish building! I am glad they are working to beautify it so it stay fresh for generations to remember!