Built during the late Renaissance in Italy in the 16th century, the Royal Palace of Turin was at the heart of the Savoy dynasty for more than two centuries. Today, the Royal Palace functions as a group of museums in Turin’s historically and culturally significant Piazza Castello. The palace’s bold and elegant neoclassical façade is home to many cutting-edge examples of Italian Baroque design.
Over 20 houses and palaces were built by the Savoy dynasty in and around Turin, with the Royal Palace being the crown jewel.
The Palace Park covers a large area in the heart of the subalpine city of Turin. Built in the 16th century by Vittorio Amedeo II, Carlo Emanuele III and Vittorio Amedeo III, the interiors of the palace were later modernized in the Baroque style by the architect Filippo Juvarra. The accomplished architect designed many famous Italian churches and palaces in addition to stage sets and fine examples of Rococo design.
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the palace houses the famous Chapel of the Holy Shroud which was added to the palace in the 17th century. The architecture of the chapel is a feat of geometric vision by mathematician and architect Guarino Guarini. Rising with several distinct levels, the tower uses a myriad of arches and windows that form a dome and a spire. The religiously significant design of the interior is a symphony of mathematical relationships, symbols and patterns.
The Royal Palace houses important collections of arms and art, not the least of which is found in the famous Royal Armory. From floor to ceiling, the palace is decorated with exquisite design and craftsmanship. Tapestries, frescoes, elaborate stucco designs, paintings and beautiful vases from the 17th century fill the many unique rooms and halls of the palace. Its museums house priceless artifacts, including a self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci and the Shroud of Turin.
The Royal Armory in Turin was designed by Baroque architect Filippo Juvarra in 1733. The beautifully vaulted ceiling rises above a marble checkerboard floor that stretches from the Royal Palace to the Palazzo Madama. With over 5,000 pieces of historical arms and armor, the Dramatic Room houses one of the most famous collections in the world. (Guilhem Vellut/CC BY 2.0)