The Basilica

Andrea Palladio
begun 1549 (completed in 1617 after Palladio's death)

The facade

This building is the first major work by Palladio. His challenge was to remodel the old town hall, which he accomplished by buttressing the old structure with a double loggia. This solution has parallels with Sansovino's Library in Venice. Palladio also made several trips to Rome to study ancient architecture, which resulted not only in borrowings for his own works but also in his illustrations for a Renaissance edition (1556) of Vitruvius and his own I quattro libri dell'architettura [Four Books on Architecture, 1579].

Like classical public buildings, this town hall uses the Doric order on the lower register and the Ionic on the upper. But whereas Sansovino's Library has a strong horizontality, here Palladio breaks the entablature forward over the columns, providing an undulating movement.


Other buildings on this site by Palladio include: Loggia Bernarda, La Rotonda (Villa Capra), Palazzo Chiericati, and San Giorgio Maggiore.

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