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What was Filippo Brunelleschi doing in 1424 while he was building the dome of the Florence Duomo? According to Professor Massimo Ricci, one of the greatest international experts in the study of the architectural style of the Renaissance genius, was building a huge castle in Tuscany for the Pucci family .
In the early fifteenth century, it was the portentous architect who was responsible for planning and designing for the Fiorentina Republic the military fortifications near Florence . A way to defend the nation from the attack of the enemies that the Florentine noble families would have been forced to copy. And who better than Brunelleschi, the only expert in active military buildings, to lift its walls, towers and private battlements?
This detail - as well as some architectural peculiarities located by the academic in the castle - makes the luxury real estate agency Lionard Luxury Real Estate can affirm that the Castello Di Oliveto, which has for sale among the exclusive properties of its wide portfolio, was Italian architect's work.
The property also contains a 17th-century villa and a chapel in the forest. © Lionard Luxury Real Estate
There are several tracks that have helped Massimo Ricci in attributing this unique construction of 35, 000 m 2 to Brunelleschi.
On the one hand it is a building completely built in bricks and with the same perfect 'technology' used in the dome of the Duomo. The use of lighter materials, such as red brick, to the detriment of heavy stone is a unique Brunelleschi singularity.
In addition, inside the castle there are numerous furniture and architectural structures made in perfect Brunelleschi style, still little imitated in the early 1400s, since in reality I was being a pioneer in breaking with the classical schemes of Gothic architecture.
The final test, according to the academic, is a strange passage built by an ingenious restraint system that does not collapse and apparently only someone with as much mathematical knowledge as Brunelleschi would have been able to devise.
Direct contact between Filippo Brunelleschi and the Pucci family would also be demonstrated because Giovanni de Antonio Pucci, the brother of the first owner of the castle, was the lime and stone dust supplier used to build the dome of the iconic cathedral of Florence
Inside the castle there are details of the Brunelleschi style. © Lionard Luxury Real Estate
In excellent condition, the castle is part of an estate that has 25 country houses, a village with a 17th-century villa and a chapel in the forest; also with 1, 200 hectares of agricultural land composed of vineyards and olive groves. "This is one of the most prestigious properties ever put up for sale, " says Dimitri Corti, president of Lionard Luxury Real Estate.
Among the historical curiosities of the property, the passage of three Popes through the castle stands out: Leon X, Clement VII and Paul III Farnese. Also famous were Lorenzo el Magnifico, the Tuscan grandfather Fernando III and the king of Italy Vittorio Emanuele III. And in 1944 General Mark Clark used it as a military command during the liberation of Italy in World War II.
Detail of a dome decorated with frescoes in Brunelleschi Castle. © Lionard Luxury Real Estate