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The facade (1646–60). The top of the dome of the Chapel of the Holy Shroud is visible on the left.

Royal Palace of Turin or Palazzo Reale, is a palace in Turin, northern Italy. It was the royal palace of the House of Savoy. It was modernised greatly by the French born Madama Reale Christine Marie of France (1606-1663) in the seventeenth century. The palace was worked on by Filippo Juvarra.


In the reign of Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy (1528-1580), the site was once part of an old Bishops palace in the center of the new capital of Savoy, Turin. From this palace, the Duke was able to monitor the two entrances of the city - the Palatine and Pretoria gates. The old palace in Turin was thus abandoned and had previously been the residence of the French Viceroys of Savoy who were appointed by Francis I of France having captured Savoy 1536. Opposite the bishops palace was the Palazzo Vecchio or the Palazzo di San Giovanni. These would later be swallowed up by the grander Ducal Palace.

The old Bishops Palace thus became the seat of power and was greatly expanded by Emmanuel Philibert in order to house his ever expanding collections of art, animals, marbles and furniture. Emmanuel Philibert died in Turin in August 1580 and the Savoyard throne was handed on to his son who was known as Charles Emmanuel I, Duke of Savoy (1562-1630). In celebration of the joint marriages of his daughters Princess Margaret and Princess Isabella in 1608, Charles Emmanuel I commissioned the construction of a ring of porches which was topped off by an open gallery. His son the future Victor Amadeus I, Duke of Savoy (1587-1637) made a very prestigious marriage with the French Princess Christine Marie of France; their marriage occurred in Paris at the Louvre in 1619.

Victor Amadeus I succeeded to the Duchy of Savoy in 1630. He had spent his youth in Madrid at the court of his grand father Philip II of Spain. It was his wife who set the mood for her husband reign; she had the court moved from the ducal palace in Turin to the Castello del Valentino which in that time was on the outskirts of the small capital.

Many of Victor Amadeus I and Christine Marie were born at Valentino including Francis Hyacinth, Duke of Savoy and his successor Charles Emmanuel II, Duke of Savoy. Christine Marie was regent of Savoy after the death of her husband in 1637; she was the regent of her two sons who succeeded as Duke of Savoy.

Francis Hyacinth of Savoy (1632-1638) died aged 6 and was succeeded by his brother Charles Emmanuel II, (1634-1675). After the Savoyard regency, the Dowager Duchess moved into the Palazzo Madama, Turin where she died in 1663. Charles Emmanuel II married twice; his first wife was his first cousin Françoise Madeleine d'Orléans; they married in March 1663 just before Christine Marie's death; Françoise Madeleine died without issue but left a suite of rooms in the palace that had been decorated especially for her before her death in 1664 aged just 15. The new duchess was another Marie Jeanne of Savoy-Nemours. She mothered the next Duke Victor Amadeus II, Duke of Savoy - she was also regent of Savoy from 1675 - 1684.

Palazzo Reale by night

Marie Jeanne of Savoy-Nemours later moved into the Palazzo Madama where she died in 1724.

It was in the reign of Victor Amadeus II that the construction of the famous Daniel gallery was created, named after Daniel Seiter who painted the lavish murals. Victor Amadeus II also had a collection of summer apartments built in order to look onto the court and a winter apartment overlooking the gardens. His wife was the niece of Louis XIV, born Anne Marie d'Orléans. The mother and aunt of Louis XV where born in the palace in 1685 and 1688 respectively.

The Royal Palace

The Chapel of the Holy Shroud, the current resting place of the Shroud of Turin, was added to the structure in 1668-1694.

The Dukes of Savoy became the Kings of Sicily in 1713 but that was swapped with the Kingdom of Sardinia which they ruled from 1720 due to the Treaty of The Hague in the same year. Anne Marie d'Orléans died at the Palace in 1728.

When Charles Emmanuel III of Sardinia married the Countess Palatine Anne Christine Louise of Bavaria, she bought a large dowry in 1722. She died 1723; he married again in 1724 to Polyxena Christina of Hesse-Rotenburg; Charles Emmanuel and Polyxena Christina produced the next King of Sardinia, Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia.

A traveller in 1765 wrote of the palace:

The furniture matches the beauty of the apartment; one notices there, among other things, candle holders whose reflectors are mirrors set in solid silver frames worked with much taste. We only make this remark however because this piece of furnishing is very much in use in Italian apartments, ordinarily it is placed around the periphery of the room to throw more light there.

Victor Amadeus III married Maria Antonietta of Spain but they preferred to use the Palazzina di caccia di Stupinigi in the country. The Neoclassical style was introduced to the palace in the Charles Emmanuel III. He died in 1796 at the Castle of Moncalieri where his wife had died in 1785.

The palace was overshadowed by the Palazzina di caccia di Stupinigi later on; when the Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia married Maria Adelaide of Austria, the palace once again saw some life with the redecoration of some rooms. In 1946, the palace was claimed by the Italian Republic and made a Museum of the life and works of the House of Savoy.

Its rooms are decorated with rich tapestries and a collection of Chinese and Japanese vases. The Royal Armory houses an extensive array of arms, including examples from the 16th and 17th centuries.

The Scala delle Forbici is a much-admired staircase by Filippo Juvarra.

The Chapel of the Holy Shroud, with its spiral dome, was built in the west wing of the palace, joining the apse of the cathedral of St. John the Baptist, to house the famous Shroud of Turin which belonged to the family from 1453 until 1946.

Coordinates: 45°04′22″N 7°41′10″E / 45.0727°N 7.686°E / 45.0727; 7.686



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