Italy is full of old towns that still today preserve their history. One of the most fascinating is, without a doubt, Palmanova, the star-shaped town in Italy. Its main feature has to be its fortification all around town, which is still intact to this day and that gives it the shape of a nine-pointed star. This beautiful place is located in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region, specifically in the Udine province.
Italian Traditions will tell you the history of this town, among the most beautiful in Italy, taking you through the marvels and the traces of the past in this open-air museum. Finally, you will be able to know all about this one-of-a-kind town and an Italian marvel that you ought to see.
The history of the star-shaped town
At the end of the 16th century the Republic of Venice, at the time grappling with attacks from the Asburgic empire and from the Turkish, decided to build on the Austrian border a town as a bulwark, for defensive purposes. The date of the foundation of the town of Palmanova is October 7, 1593, a symbolic day that recalled two important events. It is St Giulia day, patron of the town, and the anniversary of the victory on October 7, 1571 by Venice against the ottoman army during the battle of Lepanto.
The building of this star-shaped town was assigned to a team of military engineers and architects of the Republic of Venice. During the Venetian domination, the town was provided with two sets of walls. For over two hundred years Palmanova was dominated by Venice to then be passed on to the Asburgic empire and to the French. Thanks to the people’s plebiscite, the town became part of the Kingdom of Italy in 1866. Finally, through a decree of the President of the Republic, in 1960, it was proclaimed a national monument.
Palmanova’s open air museum and the main features of the town
The star-shaped town in Italy is proof of the importance that the military had in the past. One of the main places of the town is Piazza Grande, which has an hexagonal shape and on which the most important buildings, such as the Duomo, look out. This is an example of Venetian architecture. But not only that: in Palmanova there is also the Historical Military Museum where documents and memorabilia have been collected to tell the four periods of the town. Finally, the old fortifications used to defend this old Italian town are absolutely worth seeing.
Now all it is left to do is find out about the main characteristics of this fortified town. Of course, the most evident is its star shape. Inside Palmanova you will be able to see a lot of features that make it the perfect war machine. One of the most interesting is related to the fortress being invisible. In fact, it was built in a lower position compared to the line of the horizon so that it could not be spotted by the enemies. Furthermore, the whole town was camouflaged in the surrounding vegetation and thanks to the earth that covered the outer walls.
The star-shaped town, as previously seen, is surrounded by walls and moats for about 7 kilometers. There are six streets that lead into the town center where there is a perfectly exagonal square. One of the most interesting aspects is how all numbers are related to the number 3. An example are the three entrance doors to the city. This number is at the base of the project and the building of the town center of this star-shaped town in Italy.
Featured image: Travelfar