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The History of Turin-2012

The History of Turin

PRINCIPISTS AND MADAMISTS In 1630 the death of the duke started a new phase of instability in the leadership of the state. That, along with and a violent plague, put a heavy damper on the development of the city that started to be abandoned due to disease and the devastation of civil war.

The plague
The plague epidemic that broke out in Turin in 1630 was far worse than the one that had hit the city in 1599; during the worst days, according to the chroniclers, there were as many as 150-200 deaths per day. The dying, for whom there was no effective treatment, as was customary at that time, were housed in leper infirmaries beyond the city walls, in the current Borgo Dora and Madonna di Campagna. The city quickly emptied. Those who were able, i.e. the nobles and their servants, found refuge in the estates outside Turin, where the risk of infection was not so high. The court, meanwhile, settled in Cherasco.
There were only eleven thousand people left in the city, of whom three thousand were mowed down by the disease. The capital was also guarded by the mayor, Giovanni Francesco Bellezia, who rescued the population: the town commemorated him by naming one of the oldest streets in the so-called Roman Quarter after him.
The Civil War
In 1637 Duke Vittorio Amedeo I died of malarial fevers in Vercelli, leaving the kingdom to his son Francesco Giacinto, who was only a few years old. The regency was taken by Maria Cristina of Bourbon-France, wife of the late Duke and sister of the King of France. She was challenged by the brothers of the late duke: princes Maurizio and Tommaso.
The princes, fearing a further political shift of the duchy under the influence of the French, asked for the establishment of a regency council. Their proposal was rejected by the regent, who was referred to then as Madame Royale. In short, the clash within the family of Savoy became a clash between France and Spain for control of Savoy and Piedmont. The confrontation quickly became military and on July 27, 1639 the princes, supported by troops in the service of Spain, conquered Turin but were unable to enter the citadel which was guarded by French troops.
From the citadel they fired on the city, which suffered substantial damage.
They bombed the town from the ramparts until May 1640 a French army besieged the city and was in turned threatened by the Spanish Army. This state of siege is mentioned twice in the novel by Victor Hugo', Notre-Dame de Paris: -... and Quasimodo defended both besiegers and besieged, who were in the singular situation that later Henri d'Harcourt experienced (et idem Taurinum obsessor obsessus as stated in his epitaph), during the famous siege of Turin in 1640, between Prince Thomas of Savoy, whom he was besieging and the Marquis Leganez who was blocking him. Book X, Chapter VII.-
In September of that year the situation was resolved: the princes and Maurizio and Tommaso left the city with their troops and in 1642 a definitive agreement was reached between the disputing parties, an agreement that saw the regent, Madame Royal, firmly in power, position she maintained until her death even after the Duke Carlo Emanuele II, who succeeded his brother who died at an early age, came to maturity.

The city expands
Despite the depopulation caused by the plague, the damage caused by civil war and the constant state of war that characterized the second half of the seventeenth century, Turin's population grew from 36,649 inhabitants in 1631 to 43,866 in 1702. The imposing fortification works and the erection by the nobility of palaces and residences in the city, involving the influx of generic laborers, diggers, masons, carpenters, as well as more specialized workers, such as, decorators and upholsterers. Among the most significant buildings produced in the second half of the seventeenth century: the new Palazzo Ducale (architect Amedeo di Castellamonte 1658), the Chapel of the Shroud (architect Guarini, 1666), Palazzo Carignano (Guarini 1680), Palazzo Barolo (Baroncelli), the new City Hall (Lanfranchi), the Arsenal (Amedeo di Castellamonte), reconstruction of the wing connecting the Ducal Palace to the castle (the wing was destroyed by fire in 1657) and the Royal Gardens (1697). The surroundings of the city also saw the construction or restoration, of new villas and palaces; the Castello del Valentino was completed in 1660 in the form it still maintains and Amedeo di Castellamonte began the work of the Palace of Venaria in 1661. To overcome the need for building space, the Roman and Filibertine walls were torn down along with Porta Nuova itself. All these wall had been erected in 1620 and they still divided the old city from the modern city (first expansion); now they began to plan a second extension of the city walls. On October 23, 1673 Duke Carlo Emanuele II laid the first stone of the second extension to the city, which this time included within the Turin walls the area toward the river: not surprisingly, the main artery of the new section, called Contrada di Po, was christened Via di Po. The boundaries of the new area running from Via Accademia delle Scienze to Via San Francesco da Paola, then touched the current Piazza Cavour, Via Maria Vittoria, Piazza Vittorio Veneto, and finally reached the Royal Gardens.


The main square of the Palazzo Carignano, designed by Guarino, is one of the most famous monuments of baroque Turin the History of Turin La Royal Palace of Venaria new extension was named after Carlo Emanuele II. Between 1660 and 1682 at the behest of the Duke the Theatrum Statuum Sabaudiae was built in order to preserve and show the cities and monuments of Savoy and Piedmont (a precious colored copy of the work is preserved in the Royal Library). Within the new extension between the streets of San Filippo (now Via Maria Vittoria), were the stables of the Prince of Carignano (via Bogino) via d'Angennes (via Principe Amedeo) and Via San Francesco da Paola, the Jewish ghetto that was established in 1679. FROM THE CAPITAL OF A DUKEDOM TO THE CAPITAL OF A KINGDOM- - - - - - - The siege of 1706 At the beginning of the eighteenth century, during the War of Spanish Succession, Turin was repeatedly threatened by the French army who, after various vicissitudes, was bringing disruptions to the Savoyard Piedmont. In 1705 the siege was avoided due to lack of French reinforcements, but the following year, the city was surrounded and subjected to the siege for 117 days. The citadel ordered to be built by Duke Iron Head [Testa di Ferro] resisted heroically, even with the help of the now well know countermine tunnels and the sacrifice of men such as Pietro Micca, whose death stopped the advance of enemy troops in the tunnels of the Crescent. Finally liberated from the Austro-Piedmontese forces headed by Vittorio Amedeo II of Savoy and his cousin Eugene, the city became, after the Treaty of Utrecht, the capital of the Kingdom of Sicily. Later it was traded/exchanged?, in accordance with the Treaty of London of 1718, with the Kingdom of Sardinia. Moreover, in the same year, to thank the Virgin for the vow made and fulfilled, the king built on a hill overlooking the city, a church that was visible from every corner of Turin.

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