Guided Tours in Milan

Palazzo Reale

900 years of Palazzo Reale.

Museum hours: 8:30 - 18:30 Duration: two hours Availability: Tue - Sun Meeting time: on request

Built in XIth century as a seat of commune administration was rebuilt by Azzone Visconti between 1330 - 1336 as a noble residence for the Torriani, Visconti and Sforza families. They gave it its shape based on a system of two courtyards that a few arches from those days still can be seen. September 5, 1396, Palazzo Reale was a silent witness of grand ceremony of coronation Gian Galeazzo Visconti as a First Duke of Milan. Partially demolished during Ambrosian Republic (1447 - 1450), the building was refurbished after 1452 by Francesco Sforza as a ducal residence. After death of the last Duke of Milan, Francesco II Sforza, in 1535 for following 200 years palazzo was used as the seat of power by the Spanish rulers and from 1756 till 1861 by Austrians. Substantially demaged by last Spanish owners Palazzo Reale was rebuilt under Austrian rule between 1772 -1778 by the same architect who built famous La Scala. Giuseppe Piermarini extended it and gave it splendid Neoclassical appearance. The interior once contained furniture made by the famous also outside Italy cabinet maker from Parabiago, Giuseppe Maggiolini. Not much left from those days but some of his inlaid masterpieces can be seen in Castello Sforzesco and ... Windsor Castle. From 1598 Palazzo Reale housed the firsrt permanent theatr in Milan, which was destroyed by fire in 1776. This Court Theatre saw young Mozart's earliest musical successes, 1770-1772. On the first floor of the Palazzo, there is the famous Sala delle Cariatidi, that Piermarini created from the former theater. This large hall is open only during the temporary exhibions. Sala delle Cariatidi has been intentionally left in the state of disrepair caused by the bombing in 1943 as a remainder of the evils of World War II. Palazzo Reale holds also worth to see magnificent collection of gobelins. In 1965 the city of Milan purchased Palazzo to use it as offices, museums and for the temporary shows and exhibitions.

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