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TURIN AT A GLANCE: LA MOLE ANTONELLIANA

written by Chiara Guzzetti

Ostuni città bianca

The building was originally commissioned as a synagogue, although it has never been used for this purpose, changing ownership before completion.
At over 167 metres, La Mole was the highest brick building in the world at the time of its completion and remains the tallest building in Turin.

Architect Alessandro Antonelli quickly modified his original design to increase the planned height from around 66 metres to 113 metres, and he fell out with the commissioning Jewish community due to the resulting increase in costs and construction time.

Ceasing construction in 1869 due to the cost overruns and fitted with a provisional roof, Turin council took control of La Mole in 1873 in a deal where they made land available for the construction of another synagogue.
Antonelli started construction on the building once again, which the council dedicated to Vittorio Emanuele II, but further modifying the design several times to take it higher and higher.

La Mole Antonelliana was eventually finished in 1889, a year after Antonelli's death, the final height of 167 metres more than 100 metres higher than originally planned! Since 2000 La Mole has been home to the Museo Nazionale del Cinema, Italy's National Cinema Museum.

The panoramic lift is a vertigo inducing ride up through the cinema museum to a viewing platform 85 metres above, it's all-glass construction giving the sensation of flying up from ground level on the 59 second journey.

From up there you get fantastic views of Turin and its surroundings, looking across to the snow-capped mountains in the distance and sown on apartments, avenues and the rest of the world far below.

TURIN: OTHER GUIDES

  • The Egyptian Museum

    written by Chiara Guzzetti

    The Savoy had already a collection of Egyptian antiquities in ‘700, which were added to the exhibits and statues brought from Vitaliano Donati, sent to Egypt by Carlo Emanuele III. In 1824 Carlo Felice bought the collection of approx. 8000 items to... continue

  • Palazzo Madama

    written by Chiara Guzzetti

    In this initial period of its history, which dates back to the two towers and then merged into the Baroque facade of the building, there was a city gate called Porta Fibellona on the side exposed to the river Po, which was later fortified by the... continue

  • The Church of the Great Mother of Our Lord

    written by Chiara Guzzetti

    The church was commissioned to celebrate the return of King Vittorio Emanuele I by the Congress of Vienna after the defeat of Napoleon and it is located on the right bank of the River Po; on the gable of the church there is the inscription "ORDO... continue

  • The Church of San Carlo

    written by Chiara Guzzetti

    The construction works of the church began in 1619, by the will of Carlo Emanuele I of Savoy and it was dedicated to San Carlo Borromeo, who, after a pilgrimage on foot from London, came to pray before the Holy Sindone. The current facade, however,... continue

  • The Castle of the Valentine

    written by Cedric Mills

    The ancient castle, home to several noble families, was purchased by Emanuele Filiberto di Savoia. The castle owes its present form to Madama Reale, the young Maria Cristina of Bourbon-France, wife of Vittorio Amedeo of Savoy. With a four corner... continue

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