THE CASTLE OF RACCONIGI
The system of the Savoy Residences originated in 1563 when the Duke of Savoy, Emanuele Filiberto, made Turin the capital of the duchy and decided to start a project for the overall reorganization of the territory with the aim of celebrating the absolute power of the ruling house. His successors, between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, carried out the program with the organization of the "Command Zone" in the city center and the creation of a system of maisons de plaisance, the "Crown of Delights", through the re-functionalization of pre-existing residences and the construction of new buildings, intended for the hunting practice and leisure of the court.
The unitary character of the complex of buildings, which represent a complete panorama of European monumental architecture of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, is given by the stylistic homogeneity due to the group of architects and court artists operating in a widespread manner in the residences and government buildings (between these also Filippo Juvarra, Benedetto Alfieri, Claudio Francesco Beaumont).
The serial site is made up of 22 buildings, 11 located in the center of Turin, the others distributed according to a radio-centric system around the city.
The “CROWN OF DELIGHTS” is a system of suburban residences dedicated to leisure, parties and hunting which, spreading out in a radial pattern around Turin, underline the central role of the capital. The residences include: Valentino Castle, Villa della Regina, Moncalieri Castle, Rivoli Castle, Venaria Reale Castle, Stupinigi Hunting Lodge, Agliè Castle, Borgo Castello de La Mandria, Castello di Racconigi, Castello and Agenzia di Pollenzo, the Castello di Govone.
Visiting the Royal Castle of Racconigi is never a trivial experience. The attachment of the Savoy family to this residence was such that its presence can still be felt today. The richness of the environments and the majesty of the park make the discovery always different and full of surprises.
Among the Savoy residences, that of Racconigi is certainly one of the most loved.
HISTORY OF THE CASTLE OF RACCONIGI
Founded around the 11th century as a stronghold in the Marca of Turin, the castle of Racconigi subsequently passed to the Marquises of Saluzzo and then to the Savoy. The original fortified structure with corner towers was transformed during the seventeenth century: in 1670, in conjunction with the elevation of the castle to the residence of the Savoy-Carignano family, André Le Nôtre designed the garden; in 1676 Guarino Guarini undertook a comprehensive renovation of the building, which was never completed. Starting from 1755 the works were resumed by the architect Giambattista Borra at the behest of Prince Luigi of Savoy-Carignano: the pavilions on the main façade, the large access pronaos, the hall characterized by the so-called "loggia of musicians" date back to this phase, Diana's room and the Chinese lavatories.
But it was with the accession to the throne of Carlo Alberto, prince of Carignano, that the residence took on its present appearance: in 1820 the German gardener Xavier Kurten redesigned the green spaces, while the decoration and rearrangement of the interiors were entrusted to the architect Pelagio Palagi, whose taste between neoclassical and eclectic is well represented by an environment of singular charm such as the Etruscan Cabinet. At the same time, the neo-Gothic style service buildings of the Serre and Margaria were built on the edge of the park, intended for the agricultural management of the territory pertaining to the castle.
With the transfer of the capital from Turin to Florence (1865) and then to Rome (1871), the royals gradually lost interest in the castle, at least until the early twentieth century, when King Vittorio Emanuele III elected it again as the seat of holiday. The castle was purchased in 1980 by the Italian state.
The sumptuous apartments are evidence of the most significant stages of transformation that the castle underwent from the seventeenth century to the beginning of the twentieth: stuccos, frescoes and furnishings constitute a significant panorama of the changing taste of the court over the course of about four hundred years. The gardens and park keep their nineteenth-century layout intact, characterized by a romantic structure with streams, ponds, caves and monuments.