Ars Adriatica

The Baroque Palace and Garden of Giovanni Felice de Gerliczy in Rijeka: Identification and Analysis

Abstract

The article focuses on the history and architectural features of a baroque palace formerly owned by Giovanni Felice de Gerliczy and nowadays hidden behind the historicist façade of the building at 14 Ciottina Street in Rijeka. The palace was built in the 1750s and its original appearance is known from a drawing made in 1780, now preserved at the Austrian State Archives. The palace’s design and spatial organization, as presented in the drawing, show that it was a representative residential palace built for a wealthy and important investor. Originally, it was a three-storey building with three wings and an asymmetrical distribution of rooms. However, one can still discern the typically baroque, central position of the grand hall on the first floor, stretching along the whole width of the building, and the entry hall positioned along the same axis on the ground floor. The authors have analysed the original design and spatial organization of the palace, especially the appearance, arrangement, and individual elements of the French parterre garden, which remained largely preserved until the late 19th century, same as the palace. During the 19th and 20th centuries, however, the palace suffered extensive reconstructions, which included an adaptation of its interior to create rental apartments, construction of the third floor, and addition of historicist ornamentation to the façades.
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