The square in the Theatrum Sabaudiae

It is originally called Piazza del Mercato, then Piazza Reale, then Piazza d'Armi, Place Napoléon during the imperial period and then again San Carlo. The square is actually dedicated to San Carlo Borromeo who came to Turin in the last years of the previous century to visit the Holy Shroud. It was planned to be within the first extension of the city outside the quadrato romano perimeter, which was desired by Carlo Emanuele I in the '20s of the XVII century and entrusted to the ducal architect Carlo di Castellamonte. The square, which was designed on the model of the french "place royale", is crossed by the main route, the Contrada Nuova, which is the present Via Roma.

In the Theatrum the square is rapresented in all its elegance. The two churches acting as backdrop were at that time still devoid of facades, even if they are portrayed with rich decorations and columns.

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