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Gallone Palace

What to see in Tricase, Lecce, Apulia


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the Palace of Gallone Princes was erected on the site of a previous settlement castellare angioino, was built in three great historical periods. Articulated around the original structure of the late-medieval Turris Magna Orsiniana, erected between 1401 and 1406 by Raimondello DEL BALZO ORSINI Prince of Taranto, the palace saw grow his body of the factory at the behest of the family Gallon that has characterized the history of the city from the sixteenth century onwards. The Gallon, merchants of oil, chose the lower Salento as the seat of their trade, and after a series of economic vicissitudes in their favor, 20 December 1588, purchased the land of Tricase.

Dwelling in a Palazzotto on the margins of the fortified citadel chose to build a baronial residence, uniting it behind the Turris Magna. It came out a dwelling by sober Renaissance lines, overlooking the Piazza Antica (today p.za don Tonino), opposite the church matrix and the seat of the Civic University. With the passing of the years, the Gallon accrebbero their power to obtain the title Prince granted by Filippo IV in 1651. Stefano II, first Prince of Tricase, decided to build a residence worthy of high rank reached and to do this he bought a series of houses placed behind the walls that went from the tower Orsiniana Al Bastione lanceolato, built following a program of repair and fortification of the town walls issued specially for the Land of Tricase by Charles V in 1532. The imposing structure princely, overlooking on one side of today's p.za Pisanelli, was built between 1657 and 1661.

The structure was so impressive for the period in which saw the light, that gave rise to the legend of the 365 rooms, one for every day of the year. His greatness brought the princely palace of Tricase to ascend to the role of the prototype of the great aristocratic residences develops in Terra d'Otranto at the end of the XVII century. Crossing the threshold of the main door, dominated by the coat of arms of the gallon, under to the entrance we meet the first of surprises. Between the three apotropaiche masks stands out a face with a pair of eyeglasses, rather unusual in 1600 salentino (probably it is Stefano II Gallon). In the atrium of the castle it is slimming the false façade, decorated with large squares arranged around a rich portal, and overlaps by the passage of the archers. On the side of the baronial palace, there are the stables, formed by a large environment with the recesses of the feeders, and a quarter of coverage barrel, decorated with fresco depicting scenes from the life in the scuderia.

The fresco dating back to the end of the sixteenth century is a synonym of great refinement of the gallon, that great patrons of the arts did decorate even environments for horses. On the opposite side of the atrium there are environments today occupied by the G.A.L. Cape Santa Maria di Leuca, originally used as warehouses, kitchens and bathrooms of servitude. Along the stairs leading to the upper floors catch the eye baroque the keys to the landings, formed by baskets overflowing with fruit. The first floor is entirely occupied by the municipal offices, makes a fine show if the seventeenth century portal of "Weapons Room" (today's council hall). The second floor is monopolized by the splendour of the "Hall of the Throne". This is a great environment of rectangular shape turned capriate and paved in 1661 in venetian style, with at the center the weapon heraldry of Principles Gallon made with the mosaic technique. Affects the layout of the coat of arms facing the long wall of the room where it was originally placed on the throne, in line with the canons of the Florentine setting in the seventeenth century. On the upper part of one of the walls, made entirely with ashlars of local carparo opens the 12 openings of the women's gallery from which overlooked the archers, to check the room in moments of meetings, and the Dame and the servants who could not participate in the numerous court balls.

From the other side of the Throne Room there followed a series of environments, in one of which is preserved the lintel of a Renaissance fireplace, fregiata with the coat of arms of the Castriota-Granai, feudatories of Tricase in the heart of the XVI century. The Sala degli Stucchi Gallon-de Gaeta, so called because of the presence of the coats of arms and the decoration of the time with the art of stucco, opens the space of the baronial structure. The successive rooms are all vaults with different coverings, sharp, roof, disgusting, until arriving in bright Gallone-Sersale Loggione, with the coat of arms of the same name in Lecce stone dated 1795. From the Gallery can be accessed to Turris Magna Orsiniana. Going down in one of the lower floors are the prisons of the tower, constituted by two small rooms with the walls are completely covered with graffiti, left by prisoners during their detention on horseback between the ages XV-XVI

From the tower finally opens the access both to the rooms for the passage of the direct input in the church matrix, both to the "Balcony of the Princes", placed above the door of the earth, that allows at a glance on the two main squares of the city.

  • Piazza Giuseppe Pisanelli, 1, Tricase (Lecce)
  • Castle, fortress
  • Monument /attraction

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