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Mole Antonelliana, Turin, Italy

Mole Antonelliana is the tallest museum building in the world, and at the same time - the tallest brick building in Europe. The building is located in the former capital of Italy – in the historic center of Turin. Mole Antonelliana was named after its architect - Alessandro Antonelli.

Construction of the building began in 1863 - a year before the capital was moved from Turin to Florence. According to the original plan of Alessandro Antonelli, the construction costs of the building were not supposed to exceed 280,000 lire, but the final price exceeded the expected costs up to 620,000 lire. Initially the building was intended to become a synagogue and the first phase of the construction works were financed by the Jewish community of Turin. However, the Jewish community refused to pay more than the initial price of the building was, when Antonelli despite the original plan for a synagogue with 47 meters height, started to construct a building with height of 113 meters (however, the final height reached 167.5 meters).

Jewish community was not able to afford Antonelli’s ambitious plan. For this reason Jews agreed with the proposal of the municipal authorities to exchange the unfinished building with new land in another part of the town. The last stage of the construction works were financed by municipal authorities. Construction ended in 1889 - after Antonelli’s death. From 1908 to 1938 the building housed the Museum of the Risorgimento, and since 2000 - the National Film Museum (Museo Nazionale del Cinema).

The building was constructed in the neo-classicist style. The main body has square form in plan, and the rounded dome upon it creates an interesting contrast. Over the dome rises a high steeple. In May 1953 the tornado destroyed the spire, which was restored later in 1961. Today, the dome of the Mole Antonelliana beautifully rises above the Turin with the spire visually reaching the clouds in the sky.

Until 2011 the building was the tallest building in Italy. It is considered to be the most important sight and symbol of Turin. Mole Antonelliana also became a symbol for 2006 Olympic Games. Furthermore, it is portrayed on Italian two cent euro coin. During the whole year, a panoramic high-speed elevator is working in the building for those who want to see the city from the bird's-eye view.

By Anna Pambukhchyan,


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