The Palladian Basilica is a public building facing onto the Piazza dei...read more
The Palladian Basilica is a public building facing onto the Piazza dei Signori. Its name is linked to Andrea Palladio, who redesigned it, adding the famous loggias with serliana openings in white marble to the existing Gothic building. The building on which Palladio worked was the Palazzo della Ragione, built in Gothic style in the mid-fifteenth century. The upper floor is entirely taken up by an enormous hall with no intermediate supports, where the Council of the Four Hundred met. The copper-lined, inverted ship’s-hull roof was inspired by that of the Palazzo della Ragione in Padua. The Gothic facade was originally clad with diamonds of red and straw yellow Verona marble, which are still visible behind Palladio’s addition. A loggia surrounding the building was commissioned after its completion, but continually delayed due to various structural difficulties and the nature of the ground beneath. At the beginning of the sixteenth century the double order of porticoes and loggias, though not complete, collapsed. The Council called on many leading architects of the time to resolve the difficult problem of its reconstruction. They included Jacopo Sansovino, Sebastiano Serlio and Giulio Romano. The project was awarded to Andrea Palladio (1508-80) in 1549, following a competition, and he worked on it for the rest of his life. It was completed posthumously in 1614. The reconstructed building was called a basilica by Palladio himself, who had been inspired by the model of the Roman basilica for civic use. The building has three independent exhibition spaces that are used to host architecture and art exhibitions of international renown.