The Ducal Palace of Mantua was the residence of the Gonzaga family, Dukes of Mantua, from 1328 until 1707. Following the Austrian rule, the Ducal Palace was the subject of some changes and only in the nineteenth century the Palace was recovered from the state of abandonment and degradation in which it poured becoming the seat of the State Museum.
The Ducal Palace is a set of different and separate buildings, built in different eras starting from the thirteenth century.
The Capitain’s Palace overlooking Piazza Sordello, is the oldest building in the Ducal Palace, built in 1200.
The Camera Picta or Camera degli Sposi, frescoed by Mantegna is small in size but only standing in the center of the room you can appreciate the perfection of the perspective on the ceiling. The vault is a view from below to top of an oculus that opens onto the blue sky, overlooked by the characters of the Gonzaga court. The Camera degli Sposi is located in the Castle of San Giorgio adjacent to the Ducal Palace.
The Gallery of Mirrors, in neoclassical style, is one of the last rooms built in the late 1700s and was originally the room dedicated to music.
The ceilings of the rooms celebrate the Gonzaga and also their cultural interests. Among the ceilings the most famous are the wooden ones of the labyrinth room and that of the zodiac room, frescoed all in deep blue with the constellations of the northern hemisphere.
Mantua and the Ducal Palace are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.