Palmanova is a city that proved that perfection is utopia!

Palmanova, a small town in the Italian region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, is known for its unique architecture and historical significance, as well as a shopping center that many people like to visit.

Founded on October 7, 1593, by the Republic of Venice, this city is distinguished by its perfect nine-pointed star shape, designed to defend against enemy attacks.

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Palmanova around 1600, Photo: Public domain

 

Palmanova was created as a utopian city and military fortress, to protect it from the Ottoman invasion and the Habsburg Monarchy.

The design of this city was entrusted to the architects Scamozzi and Savorgnan, who applied the Renaissance ideals of symmetry and proportion.

Utopia was considered a place where there is perfection in the whole society. This idea was started by Sir Thomas More when he wrote the book Utopia. The meaning of utopia is equality. They all had an equal amount of wealth, respect, and life experience. Society calculatedly eliminated diversity and built a monotonous environment.

The city was built according to the principles of the ideal city from Renaissance treatises, with a central square, the Piazza Grande, from which the streets radiate like the arms of a star.

 

Palmanova, Piazza Grande, Photo: MaykovNikita, Depositphotos

 

The construction of the city itself lasted several decades. The city is surrounded by three rings of ramparts and a moat, which enables multi-layered defense.

Despite the excellent conditions and elegant layout of the new city, no one decided to move there, so Venice was forced to pardon the criminals and offer them free building plots and materials if they agreed to settle in Palmanova.

These fortifications were so impressive that they made Palmanova an impregnable fortress during many military conflicts.

The Republic of Venice carefully supervised the construction, ensuring that the city was not only functional but also aesthetically appealing.

 

Palmanova, city gate of Aquileia, Photo: Zairon, CC BY-SA 4.0

 

Today, Palmanova is a living museum that attracts tourists from all over the world. Due to its importance and unique architecture, in 2017 the city was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

 

 

You can walk through the streets that follow a perfect geometric shape, visit historical buildings such as the Cathedral of Palmanova and the city gates of Porta Udine, Porta Aquileia, and Porta Cividale, and enjoy visiting museums that show the city’s rich military history.

 

 

 

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