Tourist Attraction in Mantua: Castello di San Giorgio
The castle of San Giorgio is one of the most representative monuments in the city of Mantua and is part of the Gonzaga Palace. Built on the ruins of the church of Santa Maria di Capo di Bove starting from 1395 and concluded in 1406 by commission of Francesco I Gonzaga and designed by Bartolino da Novara, the castle of San Giorgio is a square-shaped building consisting of four corner towers And encircled by a moat with three doors and its lifting bridges, defending the city. Architect Luca Fancelli, in 1459, on the naming of the Marquis of Ludovico III Gonzaga, who liberated the Old Court environments for the council held by Pius II, restored the castle, which definitively lost its primitive military and defensive function. The manor was for many years the residence of Isabella d'Este, wife of Francis II Gonzaga, among the most famous noblemen of the Renaissance. Isabella wanted at the court numerous artists and humanists of the time, such as Andrea Mantegna, Perugino, Leonardo da Vinci, Ludovico Ariosto and Baldassarre Castiglione, making Mantua one of the major European courts and artistic and literary center. In the prisons of the castle was closed in 1496 the leader Paolo Vitelli, imprisoned by Francis II Gonzaga. The castle, along with other adjacent buildings, remains the residence of the prince for about a century, until Guglielmo Gonzaga transfers his apartments to the restored Old Court. In 1810 the Tyrolean patriot Andreas Hofer was imprisoned in the mansion prisons before being executed. Since 1815 with the Austrian occupation of the city, the castle became the highest security prison in which opponents were closed. Since 1852, the martyrs of Belfiore and some patriots linked to them were captured in the castle (Ciro Menotti, Teresa Arrivabene). The Chamber Room (Weddings Room), a wonderful room of the noble tower of the north-east tower of the San Giorgio Castle, is the work of Andrea Mantegna. Mantegna made it in nine years, from 1465 (date engraved on the wall) to 1475 (date engraved on the celebratory cemetery at the entrance of the room), and repainted the narrow space of the cubic room with vaulted vaults in a Succession of reality and fiction giving the environment an en plein air atmosphere (thus giving an idea of being in a fake loggia). The space of each wall of the room was divided by the artist into three openings that transmit to the spectator, through wide arches, bucolic landscapes and windy curtains, a strong antithesis with the reduced architectural ambience. The frescoes were made either dry (north wall, this technique allows a careful attention to the details) and fresh (south wall; the fresco obliges the painter to opt for a more synthetic taste). There are two painted scenes depicting members of the Gonzaga family, the "Meeting Scene" and the "Scene of the Court". With them Mantegna pays tribute to the patrons that many commissions have procured him. In the room, you can not stay more than 5-10 minutes because (using dry painting technique) the moisture and the exhaled air are likely to remove the frescoes from the walls. Opera of Bertani of 1549 - recently elected by Cardinal Ercole Gonzaga to "Prefect of the Ducal Factory" - directly connects the castle with the Manor Hall in the Ducal Palace. At the end of the stairs you can access the courtyard of the castle and its loggia, by Luca Fancelli of 1472, drawn by Andrea Mantegna.