The Palazzo dell’Accademia delle Scienze is a late 17th century Baroque palace in the street of the same name in Turin. Originally meant as a boarding school for young aristocrats, it is now the seat of the Egyptian Museum.
Palazzo dell’Accademia delle Scienze Turin
Address: Via Accademia delle Scienze, 6 – 10100 Torino. Phone: +39 011 5620047. Opening times: By appointment. Ticket price: Free.
History and description
Commissioned by Vittorio Emanuel III of Savoy, the Palazzo dell’Accademia delle Scienze was constructed between 1679 and 1687. The architects were Michelangelo Garove and Guarino Guarini.
Garove was responsible for the actual construction, but it was Guarini who had designed the palace. Guarini had actually envisioned multiple underground passaes from the Palazzo to the Piazza Castello, but this part of the project was never carried out.
The building is horseshoe shaped, with the wings pointing backwards. It was supposed to have three floors, but because of financial problems the wing facing the Piazza Carignano only has two.
The building had originally been constructed for the Collegio dei Nobili, a boarding school for members of the local aristocracy.
Later, the building became the seat of the Jesuit order in the city. Their tenancy ended, however, when the order was disbanded. After that, it remained empty for 10 years.
Then, it was transformed into the Accademia delle Scienze. This Academy had been founded in 1757, by the matematician Giuseppe Luigi Lagrange.
Most of the members of the academy were Italian. The members included scientists as well as writers, such as Alessandro Manzoni and Ugo Foscolo. The most famous non-Italian member was Charles Darwin.
Nowadays, part of the building is being used as the seat of the Egyptian Museum. Another part houses the library, founded in 1783 and containing 300,000 volumes about the history of science and 75,000 letters from famous members of the Academy.