December 7

A tower or a Christmas tree?

This is the Piazza dei Signori in Vicenza all lit up for Christmas. Aren’t those lights cascading off the clock tower fabulous? The building behind is the Basilica Palladiana, built between 1549 and 1616. The architect, as the name implies, was Andrea Palladio who never lived to see the building completed. He died in 1580. Palladio was a native of Padua, at the time part of the Venetian Republic. He is most famous for being the architect of the villas belonging to the Venetian nobles along the river Brenta and for several churches in Venice. The most famous is the Chiesa del Redentore.

His style and theories of architecture became very fashionable in late-seventeenth early-eighteenth century Britain with architects such as Sir Christopher Wren being influenced by him. Many of the great English country houses are in his style, such as Kedleston Hall, Woburn Abbey, and even parts of Buckingham Palace.

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