Galleria Umberto Primo in Naples, how a mall looked in the 19th century

by Victor Grigore, Webphoto.ro

The king of Naples, Umberto I, built this gallery at the end of the 19th century, with the help of architect Emanuele Rocco. The gallery impresses through a high octagonal glass dome, like other similar shopping galleries in Milan and Venice. Built in four years, the gallery has the shape of a cross, with a transparent dome in the middle. The four access ways have shops, coffee shops and apartments so it was both a practical place for buying things but also a place for socialization and relaxation.

The walls and the mosaic floor are decorated with various mysterious symbols such as the zodiac signs or the star of David.
The man who ordered this gallery right next to the luxurious Opera House in Naples and 50 m away of the Royal Palace was Umberto the first, king of Italy. The son of Victor Emmanuel II, Umberto Primo was an army man, fighting for the independence of his country but not reluctant to use brute force even against his own people, when faced with riots. He was the target of two assassination attempts form anarchists, the second one ending his life.

At the main entrance of the gallery there are four travertine columns representing the four seasons. Four continents are also represented (Asia, America, Europe, Africa) together with personifications of various sciences and of some Roman gods. The roof, with an octagonal dome is made by Paul Boubee.

Mai multe despre: Architecture, Italia
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