Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Palazzo de Larderel

Palazzo de Larderel, LivornoIn 1827 François Jacques de Larderel, a Frenchman living in Livorno since 1799, pioneered a way of extracting boric acid from the volcanic mud, using only natural steam in the separating process. A decade later Leopold II, Grand Duke of Tuscany and an enthusiastic supporter of Larderel's work, awarded him the title of Count of Montecerboli. The town, since 1846 renamed Larderello, became one of the first places in the world where geothermal energy was exploited to support industry.Palazzo de Larderel, LivornoThe “Palazzo de Larderel” is the most imposing and magnificent palace built in Livorno in the 19th Century.Palazzo de Larderel, LivornoIn 1832 the first “palazzina” was built in “Via dei Condotti Nuovi”, now “Via de Larderel”, by Riccardo Calocchieri. The wings were added later to the original building by Gaetano Gherardi and a new facade, unifying the various structures, was built around 1850 by Ferdinando Magagnini.Palazzo de Larderel, LivornoThe large triangular gable dominating the facade frames the coat of arms of the De Larderel family with allegories of mechanics, agriculture and commerce.Palazzo de Larderel, LivornoToday the building is the seat of the local Civil Law Courts.

External links: “Steaming Forward”, Time, June 16, 2003

20 comments:

Jacob said...

What a cool story! Never knew any of that! Cool building, too! That coat of arms is really impressive.

P.S. I've been having problems with Blogger and CDP. Most of the latest blog posts are not showing up on the latter...

Luis Gomez said...

What a great story. Love the images.

Dina said...

Yes, a very cool, or rather hot, story.

tapirgal said...

Here's another informative and nicely-photographed essay. Nice job. I'm always amazed by the Italian urban palaces that sit flush up to a normal city street rather than having the fanfare of lawns and gardens.

B SQUARED said...

That old technology is sure gaining in popularity here.

Lois said...

It is a magnificent building!

Halcyon said...

I like the comparison of old and new. It really hasn't changed much. Such a stately beauty always ages well.

Small City Scenes said...

Geothermal energy is FINALLY making headway here.

Love the palace building. Amazing to me. MB

Birdman said...

So much history to this post this morning.

Kaori said...

Love the relief! And also the decorated lamppost in the old picture below :)

cieldequimper said...

Though I love the States with a passion, I adore Europe for all the reasons you're explaining here. Wonderful building with great details and mais oui, le francese che je ne connaissais pas (I'm not sure how to spell it in Italian... che no conoscevo????)

JM said...

Great information to go with this wonderful building!

VP said...

@ ciel - Il francese che non conoscevo.
You'll meet some other enterprising Frenchmen in the history of our local factories.

Cezar and Léia said...

Nice series and story!
God bless you!
Cezar

Steffe said...

Another interesting post, and it really is a majestic old building.

Hilda said...

This is a most interesting post, especially the part about being one of the first to use geothermal energy.

The palace is truly magnificent!

cieldequimper said...

I'll be glad to better my education!

Leif Hagen said...

What a magnificent palazzo! Does it have a guest room for friendly CDP bloggers from Minnesota?!

VP said...

@ Leif - In a Court House? Are you sure?

Stine in Ontario said...

I enjoy seeing your photos of then and now!