Palazzo Ducale, between Piazza San Pietro and Piazza Sordello, is the symbol of Gonzagas, the dynasty which ruled Mantova for four centuries and which transformed the city into a beautiful art centre.
A big building, built between the 13th and the 18th century, made up of palaces, courtyards, gardens and squares occupying a three hectare area. It hosts paintings by Mantegna, Tintoretto, Pisanello and Morone. Palazzo Ducale is the heart of Mantova and its majesty is well represented by its 950 rooms, among which we must mention the famous Room of Pisanello, the Apartment of the Tapestries, the Room of Mirrors, the Room of Rivers, the Bridal Chamber and the Garden of Simples.
The Castle of St. George is a part of Palazzo Ducale; it was built between 1395 and 1406 on the ruins of the old church of Santa Maria di Capo di Bove. The castle was built by the will of Francesco I Gonzaga to defend the passage between Lago di Mezzo and Lago Inferiore.It has four towers, a ditch and lift bridges. A visit to the castle must include the Bridal Chamber, known for its frescos painted by Andrea Mantegna. It is on the North-East section and it was a meeting room. Its construction required 9 years but the room is extremely beautiful, especially thanks to Mantegna’s frescos celebrating Gonzagas’ dynasty. The castle is a symbol of the city.
Always inside Palazzo Ducale there is the Basilica of Santa Barbara, a palace chapel for Gonzagas, with its beautiful brick bell tower. A real architectural masterpiece built by the architect Giovan Battista Bertani by the will of Guglielmo Gonzaga. The church was built between 1562 and 1572. It has only one central nave with lateral chapels. It is decorated with many paintings. We mention The Martyrdom of Santa Barbara by Brusasorci; The Baptism of Emperor Costantine and The Martyrdom of St. Adrian by Lorenzo Costa; The Annunciation by Ghisoni and an Antegnani organ.
Piazza Sordello, 40
Opening: Tuesday-Sunday: 8.15 – 19.15, last entrance at 18.20.
Closed on Mondays, December 25 and January 1
Ticket: 6.50€ full ticket and 3.25€ reduced price.
From April 3 2015, the ticket price will change.
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