I du brasè

19 Apr

No, it’s not a foreign language, just our local dialect standing for “the two embraced”…..

Actually they are Hercules and Antaeus. The legend says that Antaeus, the son of the Earth, forced passers-by to fight with him in Libya. He drew his strenght from the ground, so Hercules lifted him and managed to smother him in the grips of his arms.

This is the only surviving statue among those adorning the Ducal Park at the time of the Farnese family, the copper group was commisioned by Ranuccio II Farnese for the wedding of Edward III with Dorotea Sofia of Neoburgo. Cast by Flemish artist Teodoro Vanderstruck between 1684 and 1687 for the great fountain basin placed in front of the Ducal Palace, it was moved into the inner court of the Seat of State for money coinage in the second half ot the 18th century and then, during Napoleon’s rule, on the island at the centre of the small lake in the Ducal Park.
The group was later relocated next to the Town hall, on a fountain designed by Paolo Toschi in 1829 and, finally, in the court of the recently restored Cusani Palace.

Richly decorated by exquisite paintings and sculptures and now the seat of the House of music, an important reference point for music research and documentation, Cusani Palace was built in the second half of 15th century by the parmesan branch of the noble Cusani family and given over to the Municipality of Parma at the beginning of the 17th century. After hosting the University of Parma until 1768, in 1778 the palace became the seat of the State Mint under the rule of Don Ferdinand of Bourbon, a new function that entailed structural changes and the creation of different spaces in order to conform them to different needs. In 1820 thanks to Duchess Marie Louise, who had chosen to exploit huge buildings for administration and military purposes, Cusani Palace became the premises of the Law Court, thus completing a complex that already played host to the prison in the nearby San Francesco convent.
When in 1924 the Civil and Penal Court was moved to a another place, Cusani Palace became the seat of a primary school, thus involving further divisions of the great halls on the ground floor and the construction during the second world war of air-raid shelter that radically transformed the building appearance. Cusani Palace remained the seat of the primary school until 1983, when a earthquake seriously damaged it and doomed it to fall into disuse.
Following accurate restoration works that have brought it back to its original splendour, the palace has been open to the public again since 2002. The building has nowadays a square shape and a total surface of 4500 square metres divided on three floors, with precious interiors decorated by original frescoes.

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Posted by on April 19, 2015 in Uncategorized


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