The Cavallerizza Reale in Turin, a Unesco World Heritage site, caught fire early on Monday. A portion of the roof collapsed. Turin firefighters extinguished the blaze in approximately two hours, but at that point part of the roof had already fallen.
Cavallerizza Reale was built in the 18th century as a military academy for senior officers from the royal House of Savoy, a family that grew in power through the centuries until it ruled the Kingdom of Italy from 1861 until 1946.
The Cavallerizza Reale is part of the serial Unesco site ‘Residences of the Royal House of Savoy,’ which, as reported on the Unesco site, represent an “outstanding complex of buildings, designed and embellished by the leading architects and artists of the time, radiates out into the surrounding countryside from the Royal Palace in the 'Command Area' of Turin to include many country residences and hunting lodges.”
Designed in 1740 in Baroque style by the architect Benedetto Alfieri, the Cavallerizza Reale was used to house the royal stables and for performing equestrian exercises.
The structure has been abandoned for years.
Squatters, who have occupied the building for years, were inside when the fire started, but nobody was reported injured.
The fire is believed to have started in the former stables, which are now used as a warehouse.
The Cavallerizza Reale had already been damaged by arson fire in 2014.
The cause of the latest fire is still unknown.