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Italy
 
Mantova
 
Palazzo Ducale

Palazzo Ducale, Mantova

 
The Ducal Palace of Mantova is one of Italy's most remarkable Renaissance residences. Home to the pleasure-loving Gonzagas from 1328 to 1707, this warren of courtyards, gardens and quarters boasts 500 rooms and covers no less than 34,000 square meters. Palazzo Ducale was constructed in three distinct phases - The Bonacolsi put up the Corte Vecchia in 1290. The four-towered castle was completed in 1400. Giulio Romano built the Corte Nuovo in the 17th century - and embellished over the centuries. And while striped of much of its artwork and most of its furnishings, Palazzo Ducale is still impre... Read Moressive. The Camera degli Sposi or Bridal Chamber, entirely frescoed by Andrea Mantegna, is but one of its gems.
 
House of Gonzaga

The Gonzagas were an important family in Renaissance Italy. They ruled Mantova for nearly four centuries from 1328 to 1707. The Gonzagas were prosperous farmers who rose to power as the commanders of mercenary troops or condottieri. They acquired the titles of lord, marquise and duke as payment for their alliance with the Holy Roman Emperor. The Gonzagas ruled Mantova with an iron fist but they were also busy builders and civic improvers. They left Mantova with a rich architectural heritage that includes Palazzo Ducale and Palazzo Te. The Gonzagas made Mantova into a center for arts and learning.

 
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