The Cavallerizza Ducale is located in the old city center of Sassuolo, a small city on the provincial border between Modena and Reggio Emilia, which has gained acclaim worldwide thanks to its famous industrial district for the production of ceramic tiles. However Sassuolo not only boasts a manufacturing tradition, now synonymous with innovation and cutting edge technology, but is also host to a remarkable heritage of historical buildings, gardens and residences dating back to past eras.
Despite the inexorable passing of time, these locations remain standing before us, testimony to a past splendour that today have been restored thanks to the love of its residents, such as the Cavallerizza Ducale, regaling us with its enchanting style right in the centre of the city, just a few metres from the Palazzo Ducale. This is an extraordinary building, amazing visitors with its charm and expertly renovated architecture, where the spirit of the past lives in harmony with the modern surroundings.
The Cavallerizza Ducale takes us back to the times of the Estense Duchy when the noble family governed in this area of Emilia. In fact the Cavellerizza Ducale was built between 1781 and 1788 on commission by Duke Ercole Rinaldo III to remedy the lack of stables and lodgings for the “Dragoni Ducali” (armed corps) that followed the Estense Court when moving to the palace in Sassuolo. This building was part of the “Delizia Estense” (Estense Delight) together with the Palazzo Ducale of Sassuolo and the surrounding buildings, used as the summer residence.
From an architectural point of view, the Cavallerizza features an imposing wooden roof with two slopes, supported by 23 trusses, while the northern façade displays graffiti painted walls as a backdrop to the view of the Peschiera from the Palazzo Ducale. An extraordinary and impressive work with a unique identity. It was once the “Teatro delle fontane” (Theatre of Fountains), where visitors could admire marvellous water features for the pleasure of the audience, who sat on benches clad in tufa stone and shells, while the scenic background provided a view of the “Estense mountains”, from which sprung fountains below the peak, still seen today, of the “Aquila Estense”. A noble and highly valued symbol that identifies the coat of arms of the Duchy.
Sadly the history of this building has not always been so glorious, having been left in serious neglect over the years.