Dropped Triglyphs of Palazzo Te – Mantua, Italy - Atlas Obscura

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Dropped Triglyphs of Palazzo Te

An architectural oddity where the triglyphs of the courtyard of walls create an optical illusion. 


Palazzo Te was constructed in 1524 as a pleasure palace for Federico II Gonzaga. It was located on an islet just outside of the city walls.

The palace was made to impress visitors and showcases some monumental frescos located in rooms such as the Camera dei Giganti, a secret garden with a fake grotto, and nowadays, a small Egyptian museum.

The palace was created by Giulio Romano who built it with bricks covered by stucco to accentuate the facade. 

One of the most impressive stuccos is the dropped triglyphs. Triglyphs are part of the traditional Doric frieze. One out of every three triglyphs seem to slide down the wall as the facade is crumbling. 

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