Thursday, March 4, 2010

Palazzo del Picchetto

Palazzo del Picchetto, LivornoThe “Palazzo del Picchetto” (Palace of the Picket, intended as detachment of troops) was built in 1701 near the old Pisan Gate on a project by the architect Giovan Battista Foggini. It was used as barracks for the garrison inside the fortified city, the Pentagon of Bernardo Buontalenti.Palazzo del Picchetto, LivornoFew years later, around 1707, the building was restructured and enlarged by Giovanni del Fantasia on instructions by the Grand Duke Cosimo III de' Medici, as clearly stated in Latin over the main entrance on what is now “Via Grande”.Palazzo del Picchetto, LivornoThe L shaped building lies at the end of “Via Grande”, just before the “Cisternino” and “Piazza della Repubblica”. It once hosted the local Garrison Command and, until now, the Officers' Club. It was the only military building in “Via Grande” and was barely touched by the devastating air raids that obliterated the rest of the street.Palazzo del Picchetto, LivornoOver the entrances in “Piazza Guerrazzi” we can see two unusual bas-reliefs by Andrea Vaccà from Carrara, shaped as lion's skins.Palazzo del Picchetto, LivornoThey says: “Here is where officers drop their weapons and quiet is the reward of their work” and “Here a book and some food restore the soldier tired by the efforts of Mars”.Palazzo del Picchetto, LivornoA plaque on the side facing “Via Santa Barbara”reminds us of the old church by the same name and of an ever more ancient chapel, “Santa Giulia di Porto Pisano”, destroyed by the troops of Charles of Anjou in 1268.

See also: Chairs

21 comments:

Halcyon said...

So many beautiful details!

Jacob said...

I have a hard time getting over how old some of your buildings are and what good condition they are in!

The last school I taught in was torn down after 20 years because it was falling apart and they built a new school which was a disaster from day one...it's probably been torn down by now.

Those bas-reliefs are quite interesting.

I'm not quite clear on what the building is used for at the present time.

James said...

That looks much nicer than the late 18th century British barracks near here. I really like the style of the building as well as the details.

Dina said...

That's a lot of history!
Ironic that the air raids missed only the military building.
Eeuw, lion's SKINS?

What a fantastic name, Giovanni del Fantasia!

joo said...

I like the details in the second and third phototo.
You're right - the building in my photo is a Town Hall - not as big and famous as some other in Poland, but really nice:)

Andreea said...

I like the severe look of the building and I've never seen something like those bas-reliefs before. They look amazing even if the lions looks so unhappy like they were skinned alive. Great work.

Kaori said...

Ooh, those lions don't look too happy about being skinned! But what a beautiful building packed with history!

brattcat said...

Another fascinating series. Love those lions and their skins...thanks for the translations, VP. And love all those green shutters. I agree, so ironic about the one military building.

B SQUARED said...

Far different from what housed troops here.

tapirgal said...

Photo 3 is fantastic, with those wonderfully-colored doors and shutters. Again, an amazing history lesson. For this, I would re-learn Latin. I, too, love the plaques of the animals, even skinned.

JM said...

Very clean old building and wonderful details!

Cezar and Léia said...

wow 1707 and it's so beautiful and well care.That plaque is magnificent and so elegant.
Also I loved those doors and the beautiful balcony!
A romantic and charming building!
Léia :)

Lois said...

Fascinating post! My high school Latin comes in handy every once in awhile, but I'm afraid this would have been too difficult for me to translate. The lions don't look too happy about having their skins stretched out like that!

Saretta said...

People have certainly been going to war for a long time!

Stine in Ontario said...

So much wonderful history! And not just ruins. :) We have no buildings that old in my part of Ontario. NOTHING at all.

cieldequimper said...

Love this post, not just because this time we go back to the Middle Ages. Beautiful building with wonderful details. What is the statue though? Even enlarging the photo I can't read what it says. Maybe you have already shown it and I don't remember it.

VP said...

@ Jacob - It is now the Officers' Club.

@ Dina - I am not sure now but I think 'Del Fantasia' is a nickname. Even 'Buontalenti' in Italian means something like well talented.

VP said...

@ ciel - You are right, I forgot the link to the older post, now it is there (Chairs).

Small City Scenes said...

Gol, great history lesson you give us. I love the touch of color on these older buildings.

the Lion skins are very different.

Great post. MB

Hilda said...

It has such gorgeous details! I'm not quite sure I like the lion skin design of the plaques, but I do like what's written on them.

cieldequimper said...

Now I remember!