Fortress City

In its symetry Palmanova reminds on a bit of Castel del Monte in Apulia

It must have been an almost pedantic spirit who gave Palmanova the symetrical shape of a 9 pointed star. Three roads straight as an arrow are crossing the city transversally, four concentrical ring roads surround the nucleus of the town. 4 square places are located in front of the very center - a hexagonal piazza.

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This description suggests that Palmanova was planned on the drawing board. It was famous for two centuries as the most secure fortress in Europe.

From 1593 the Venetians the city was built for about a hundred years, which should oppose impregnably for all times to the Austrians and Turks.


Palma Nova was designed for 20,000 people, but no one ever wanted to live in this model city. So it was inhabited only by soldiers who were reassigned there.


Barely 30 years after the foundation stone had been laid Venice had to rely on prisoners which were to receive freedom and and a home place only if they were willing to settle in the city.


Despite some privileges there were rarely more than 2000 residents who were located in Palmanova. Even today town has only little less than 5,000 inhabitants.

The clever system of inner and outer fortifications, secret passageways, powder houses and buildings can be quite fascinating.


Irony of history: In Palma Nova itself, there was never armed conflicts, the city was occupied by Napoleon in 1797 without a fight.

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