Google Earth: The fortified city of Palmanova, Italy


Wikipedia on Palmanova, Italy:
On October 7, 1593, the superintendent of the Republic of Venice founded a revolutionary new kind of settlement: Palmanova. The city’s founding date commemorated the victory of European forces (supplied primarily by the Venetian republic) over Ottoman Turks in the Battle of Lepanto. October 7 also celebrated Saint Justina, chosen as the city’s patron saint. Using all the latest military innovations of the 16th century, this tiny town was a fortress in the shape of a nine-pointed star, designed by Vincenzo Scamozzi. In between the points of the star, ramparts protruded so that the points could defend each other. A moat surrounded the town, and three large, guarded gates allowed entry.


Professor Edward Wallace Muir Jr. said on Palmanova: "The humanist theorists of the ideal city designed numerous planned cities that look intriguing on paper but were not especially successful as livable spaces. Along the northeastern frontier of their mainland empire, the Venetians began to build in 1593 the best example of a Renaissance planned town: Palmanova, a fortress city designed to defend against attacks from the Ottomans in Bosnia. Built ex nihilo according to humanist and military specifications, Palmanova was supposed to be inhabited by self-sustaining merchants, craftsmen, and farmers. However, despite the pristine conditions and elegant layout of the new city, no one chose to move there, and by 1622 Venice was forced to pardon criminals and offer them free building lots and materials if they would agree to settle the town.18 Thus began the forced settlement of this magnificent planned space, which remains lifeless to this day and is visited only by curious scholars of Renaissance cities and bored soldiers who are still posted there to guard the Italian frontier."
Now, via Google Earth

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