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Garden of the Marengo Court (Marmirolo)

Garden of the Marengo Court (Marmirolo)

italiano Italian version

Partially public property (open to the public), partially private property (not open to the public)


Marengo is a small town in the area of the city of Marmirolo; its layout is the result of the on-going expansion of the original settlement of the ancient and homonymous court.
It was originally a fortified site, built for the defence of important connecting routes, part of the Canossa estates in the 11th century, later donated to the abbey of San Benedetto in Polirone. In the 15th century, the complex of the Court of Marengo was offered to Guido Gonzaga, Canon of the Cathedral, Protonotary apostolic and Commendatory abbot of the abbey and therefore its Provost. Patronage on the court was established and maintained by the same family until 1707. It was incorporated in the assets of the Duchy, and the estate passed on to the Custoza Counts at the beginning of the 18th century, and recently went to the city of Marmirolo and the company Biocharme Cosmetique.
The court, whose layout is closely linked to the particular shape of the river and to artificial water ways that still mark its boundaries, occupies a large area, coinciding with a substantial part of the historical town. The main palace, the construction of which was traditionally attributed to Cardinal Sigismondo Gonzaga, and the other buildings of the court, are the result of the progressive transformations completed mainly between the 16th and 18th centuries, including old factories, that were substantially renovated during the 19th century.
Extensive green areas for the garden were chosen next to the complex in the 16th century, in a time when the presence of Giulio Romano workers is conceivable, characterised by the presence of a large pond, which was still present in the mid-19th century as well as an ice house that can still be found today.
The current gardens and green spaces are actually a simplification of the more articulate and complex gardens of the Gonzaga court; although the main perspective axis, of the Renaissance loggia opening on to the garden and pond, is no longer there, the current layout of the green areas and the magnificent wisteria pergolas, which essentially design the formal garden between the two residences of the court, offer new perspective axis that recall the original orientation.

(From  L. Valli, I giardini della Corte di Marengo, in I giardini dei Gonzaga 2018, pp. 349-354)


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