It’s popularly known as the ‘Corona di Delizie dei Savoia’ – which translates as something like ‘ring of delights’ or ‘Savoy feast for the eyes’: what this refers to is the whole area around Turin, full of 17th-century palaces and gardens that have remained largely intact throughout the centuries. The biggest jewel in this architectonic garland is the Reggia di Venaria Reale, which served first as a ducal and later as a royal residence. It was designed and built by the architect Amedeo di Castellamonte from 1658 on the instruction of Charles Emmanuel II, Duke of Savoy – as a base for hunting excursions in the moors to the north of Turin, which is where the name ‘Venatio Regia’, or royal hunt, is derived from. Its current form dates back to 1699 and renovations ordered by Michelangelo Garove – with gardens designed along the lines of those in Versailles. Much later, the decades following the French Revolution certainly brought the splendour of the old days to an end. Where elegant Baroque sculptures once looked out over far-reaching views, soldiers and snorting horses now pounded the grounds for many years.
A NEW BIRTHDAY
Resurrection was a long time coming – until the palace’s new birthday on 12 October 2007. It would be many years before it opened, during which it was Europe’s biggest monument construction site. The comprehensive restoration began in 1997. Today, the castle and its grounds are a pearl of North Italian cultural tourism – for enthusiasts of Royal European grandeur and architecture with their sumptuous rooms, their paintings and their tapestries. It now houses exhibitions concerts and the finest cuisine – and attracts around one million people every year.
It is owned by the ‘Consorzio delle residenze reali sabaude’ which is based at the palace itself and manages the complex. The consortium is made up of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage, the Piemont Region, the Venaria Reale municipal administration and the Fondazione 1563 per l’Arte e la Cultura.
From a technical construction perspective, the residence is now at a level that the old Duke of Savoy could scarcely have imagined.
LOCKING SYSTEM FOR THE ROYAL RESIDENCE
DOM met the owners some years ago at a product presentation – DOM impressed them at the time with its technology as well as its comprehensive after-sales support. They wanted an electronic locking system with access control, that was able to handle the site’s complexity and huge volumes. The digital locks had to operate both offline and online – and a central access management system was needed with real-time control of the cylinder status. Also on the wish list were: the possibility to configure passes, to create time-defined authorisation groups, and have an overview at any given time of any lost or unauthorised transponders. Integration with the fire alarm system also had to be possible. The DOM team needed a whole series of visits to the royal palace to understand its requirements, prepare a locking plan, and to introduce the users at the complex to the system. It was worth all the effort: the result was an access control system with an important role for the DOM ENiQ Pro digital cylinder – to the great satisfaction of the castle management: they praised the problem-solving skills, the team’s responsiveness and the flexibility of the electronic access system. DOM looks back with a certain pride on the royal project – it is certainly one of the most prestigious pearls in its list of references.
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