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Fountains in the gardens

MUSEUMS IN CASERTA

REGGIA DI CASERTA (ROYAL PALACE OF CASERTA)

The complex is situated on the extreme western side of Caserta, in a place where until 1752, only a small village named La Torre existed. The construction of the Royal Palace was inserted into the great reorganization works of the Reign of Naples, on the wishes of Carlo of Bourbon, around 1734. The works began on 20th January 1752: the choice of location, distant from the City, was also due to the fact that Naples had previously been attacked by English fleets from the port side – 1742 – and therefore, the transfer inland of all the political and bureaucratic structures seemed safer. The project was by Luigi Vanvitelli, a famous 18th Century architect, as well as the son of the Dutch artist Caspar van Wittel. With regards to the external parts, the works ended in 1774, but economic difficulties and diverse dynastic decisions, halted the carrying out of the original project; which in the meantime was also taken over by the son of the architect, Carlo. The Royal Palace, with its rectangular layout, is enormous and has a perimeter of 247x190 metres; there was once a particular phase in which not less than 10,000 people were working at the same time, like stone cutters, bricklayers, decorators, artists and artisans of every kind. It’s 41 metres in height, and has five floors and four internal courtyards, and contains 1,200 rooms, 34 staircases between the main and service ones and can count 1,742 windows. The halls, the great staircase of honour, the Palatina Chapel, the Court Theatre (dating back to the first phase of works and carrying the full mark of Luigi Vanvitelli), the throne room and the Royal apartments are all of particular interest. The internal style is Rococo and Neo-Classicism.

The Park is also rightly famous and extends behind the Palace, occupying an area of 120 acres (the length of the main axis begins behind the Terrena Gallery of the Palace, and is 3 km). Lakes, waterfalls decorated with sculptures, fountains and small lanes alternate with evocative views. The garden is partly Italian and partly English.

 

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