/ / Villa di Castello: photo, description (Villa di Castello)

Villa di Castello: photo, description (Villa di Castello)

Villa di Castello, located in the hills near Florence, was the country residence of Cosimo de ' Medici I, Grand Duke of Tuscany (1519-1574), and her beautiful garden with fountains, statues and grottos were once known throughout Europe. This Villa at one time kept the greatest masterpieces of art, for example, Botticelli's "Birth of Venus" and "Spring". The garden has influenced the development of landscape architecture and the formation of the Italian garden of the Renaissance and, later, the French garden.

Villa di Castello is located in the hills North-West of Florence, near the small town of Sesto Fiorentino. Once located near the ancient Roman aqueduct, hence the name of the Villa - the "Castella" in Latin means "water tank". It is known that at the beginning of the 15th century this place was a fortified structure, which in 1477-the year it was purchased by Lorenzo and Giovanni di Pierfrancesco de ' Medici. On their initiative the building was rebuilt - added a courtyard, a cloister, a kitchen and stables. In this house was born and spent the first years of life of Cosimo de ' Medici, one of the influential representatives of the dynasty. In 1537, the year after the assassination of the Grand Duke Alessandro de Medici, to the little-known 17-year-old Cosimo received the title. A lot of the time he spent in his family estate - the Villa di Castello, which gradually, step by step, he was turned into a luxurious residence, suitable to the court of the Grand Duke. Cosimo hired the engineer Piero da San Casciano to the construction of an aqueduct system to bring water to the Villa and garden, as well as of the sculptor Nicolo tribological properties for garden decoration fountains and statues. And on the restoration and extension of the Villa worked for the great Giorgio Vasari.

Project tribological properties, the garden of the Villa up the hill to the nearby mountains. Over the rear wall of the garden, where there were water tanks, were planted in the forest which was separated from the garden by a high wall. Another wall divided the garden into two parts. Here was a small upper terrace and a larger bottom, connected by two decorated staircases. In the upper garden planted citrus trees and built a grotto similar to the original cave and richly decorated with sculptures. The lower garden was divided into small areas by lanes and fences, rows of pine and olive trees and flower beds. In the center of the garden was located in the maze of cypress trees interspersed with Laurel trees, Myrtle, and roses, and in the center of the maze stood a fountain with a statue of Venus. Another large fountain topped by a statue of Hercules, located between the labyrinth and the Villa. In addition, the garden also had a few interesting", jockey d Aqua" - a small fountain, vystrelivshey jets of water to surprise the guests of the Duke.

Work on the Villa and the garden continued for almost 20 years, and Cosimo wanted to build near another large Villa, and then to connect both buildings via a covered gallery. But these plans went awry - stunned by the death of two sons, he left politics and spent the last ten years of his life in seclusion at the Villa di Castello. The Medici dynasty owned the Villa until 1737, the year - during which time were rebuilt the facade of the building, added another entrance on the South side, the interiors are decorated with frescoes. In the garden there is a new, exotic species of plants and built a greenhouse for their winter maintenance.

In the mid-18th century Villa and garden became the property of the dynasty of Habsburg-Lorraine, which at the behest in the garden made significant changes, for example, was destroyed by the famous maze and the fountains taken to other villas. After the reign of Napoleon Villa for a long time was useless, and began to decline. In the 20th century, it housed a school, a hospital and a hostel. Only in 1984 year, the once magnificent gardens became a Museum under the open sky.