Gran Guardia, Verona

The magnificent Palace of the Gran Guardia is situated in the historical centre of Verona whose history of its construction was a long and troubled one begining in the 17th century and only completed in 1843. On the 26th September 1609, Captain Mocenigo placed a formal request before the Doge of Venice for the construction of the palace. He received permission to go ahead on 30th December 1609 and on the 13th February 1610 some senators from the Republic of Venice came to Verona to bring funds. By 1614 the monies had all been used up and work was suspended. In 1639 a request for further funding from the Doge was denied and it was to take until 1808 until work on the palace was to resume after nearly two hundred years of inactivity. Construction was placed in the hands of Guiseppe Barbieri who also built the Gran Guardia Nova, now the Town Hall. It actually took a further ten years before work began in earnest under the rule of the Hapsburg Empire. Work was again halted in 1848 as the building was used by the Austrian Army during the first war of independence. The Gran Guardia was finally completed in 1853. It has recently been restored and is used as a convention centre hosting exhibitions, events and fairs and as a gallery.

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