History of the Palace of Caserta

The world biggest royal palace that changed the world architecture


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Designed by Luigi Vanvitelli in 1752, the magnificent Royal Palace of Caserta was created to be the core of a new capital city of the kingdom.Even before ascending the throne in 1734, Charles wanted to realize an administrative centre as an alternative to Naples, because the city is located close the the sea, and this represent a risk of invasion, while the feud of Caserta was the perfect solution to these problems. So King Charles bought it in 1750 from the Prince Michelangelo Caetani di Sermoneta, for the amount of 489.393 ducats. The design of the Royal Palace was committed to Luigi Vanvitelli, at the time the first architect of the Factory of San Pietro in Vaticano. The works were solemnly inaugurated on the 20th of January 1752, the same day of the king’s birthday.The original design of the palace already included the Park, but its realization started only one year later, in 1753, and took more than fifty years to be completed.During the first phase, between 1753 and 1773, the Caroline Aqueduct was realized,because it was necessary for the water supply of the Palace and the new capital city.The aqueduct,an amazing piece of engineering that goes through an itinerary of 38 Km,was completed around the 1770.

After 1773, when Vanvitelli died, the works stopped for 4 years. In 1777 his son Carlo, now director of the works, showed to the new king Ferdinand IV a new project, a simplified version of his father's design. Indeed, economic difficulties and the needs to complete the works quickly forced the reduction of the number of fountains in the second part of the Park. However Luigi Vanvitelli’s design was kept unchanged in the general shape,especially the most prominent thing of its project: the spectacular 3.3km canal of fountains and basins ending with the amazing waterfall.

The Bourbon era


The rule by Napoleon Bonaparte and Joachim Murat


The return of the Bourbon family


The end of the Kingdom, the unification of Italy and the despoiling


The Air Force


The Royal Palace during the war


The surrender at Caserta and the end of World War II


The G7 in 1994


The third Italian summit was held in Naples in 1994 and saw the participation for the first time of the Russian Federation, with President Yeltsin present as an observer. The discussed topics  were mainly of economic kind, such as jobs and growth, trade and development. Issues related to the environment were also treated, nuclear safety, the democratic transition of the former Soviet bloc countries, cooperation against transnational crime and money laundering. The gala dinner of the G7 in Naples, at the behest of the President of the Republic was offered in the Royal Palace of Caserta.