THE ROYAL PALATINE CHAPEL
The Royal Palace at Caserta Chapel: the neoclassical as synthesis of three centuries of architecture
Opened during the Christmas 1784 and bombed in 1943, the design of the Palatine Chapel of Caserta was inspired by that one of Versailles for the behest of the King, but Vanvitelli thanks to his genius created not just something of totally different, but managed to synthesize in it the Renaissance, Mannerist and Baroque tradition in the elegance of his neo-classicism.
The rich and complex decoration of a refined neoclassical style, is the result of masterful skill of Vanvitelli to summarize in a single work all the Renaissance, Mannerist and Baroque tradition as festoons, oval windows or coffered ceiling, often used by Vanvitelli inside the whole the Palace, but that look different every time depending by the place where are located, due to different decorations and lighting.
In the apse the altar in stucco is not the real one, but its original model, that was never built with marble. Similarly, the tabernacle made with pietre dure (amethyst, lapis lazuli, carnelian, agate and jasper) had not been completed, and instead of it there is one made of polychrome wood.
Under the altar it was scheduled an ancient marble urn decorated with gray agate and gilded bronzes, while the tabernacle was to be made up of precious stones.
THE BOMBING IN 1943
The Chapel was seriously damaged on the 27 August 1943 by the American bombing of the city of Caserta and the Royal Palace, that hit the Palatine Chapel, damaging the ceiling, columns and walls, destroying priceless works such as vestments, the two organs placed on both sides of the altar(where now you can see the curtains), and seven of the eight paintings of the Chapel.
After the war started an intense restoration of the Palatine Chapel, but not everything was restored, so that the scarred marbles can remember this story forever.