Alessandro Antonelli

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Mole Antonelliana – Turin

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The Mole Antonelliana is probably the most popular monument in Turin. The world mole literally mean massive; while the world Antonelliana refers to the last name of the architect who designed it, Alessandro Antonelli.

The original project was for a synagogue paid by the Turin’s Jewish community.

When Turin became the capital of the newly born Italian Reign the community thought they need a synagogue worthy of a capital city. They hired Antonelli and the construction started in 1863. However only a year later the political powers were moved in Florence; the community lost part of its members. Also the relationship with the architect wasn’t very happy. He changed many time the design and raised the high of the dome of almost 46 meters. The cost grew too much and the construction time started to double. In 1869 the Jewish community decided to put an end to the construction and ordered Antonelli to build a provisory roof for the synagogue. Not even ten years later they withdrew from the project, they had already spent three times the original budget.

The city of Turin bought the property in exchange for a new land where the Moorish Revival Synagogue was finally, and quickly, built.

Things to see

Antonelli went back to work and the Mole dome was finally finished in 1889, a year after the architect’s death.

At the beginning of the 20th century the city used it as a Museum of the Risorgimento.

In 1953 a terrible storm destroyed part of the dome; it took almost a decade to rebuild it.

In 2000 the Mole was converted into the Museo Nazionale del Cinema, National Museum of Cinema. With its 167.5 meters, or 550 feet, of high the Mole Antonelliana is the tallest museum in the world.