The Basilica Palladiana’s modern Renaissance

Dec 22, 2019 525

BY: Andrew Hind

Vicenza is a city rich in stunning historic architecture, but it all pales in comparison to the Basilica Palladiana, which looms over the Piazza dei Signori and has served as the city’s literal and figurative heart for hundreds of years. “The building we call the Basilica began as the so-called Palace of Reason, the former seat of the civil authority,” explains Vladimiro Riva, director of Vicenza’s Tourism Promotion Consortium.

“At the end of the 15th century, it was decided to gird the Gothic building with a double order of loggias that ennobled its image. These collapsed at the beginning of the 16th century, so it had to be rebuilt,” says Riva. The contract for reconstruction was awarded to Andrea Palladio (1508-1580) in 1549, but only after decades of hard lobbying. He worked on it for the remainder of his life, and it wasn’t completed until 1614, decades after his passing. 

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