In palaces and historic villas, the furnishings and decorations are so fascinating that they often distract attention from another fundamental element: the floor. This can play a significant role in the overall appearance of a room and can provide valuable insight into its history and architectural style. Especially in the sumptuous art or power buildings, built or renovated starting from the 17th century, where authentic masterpieces of wooden floors can be observed.

Let’s see together what they are.

Historical wooden floors

Gallery of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles, France

It is the most famous and visited room of one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. Built in Baroque style, it was commissioned by Louis XIV, the Sun King, to show his power. 73 meters long and more than 10 meters wide, it was used for receptions and parties.

On the ground we find a parquet of exceptional workmanship, characterized by a distinctive design composed of squares with a diagonal intertwining inside them. This design is still known today as the “Versailles style” and can be found almost everywhere inside the Palace.

The Opéra National de Paris, France

It is one of the most important French cultural institutions and known throughout the world. The theater has changed several locations during its long history, which began in Paris in 1669. The current building that houses the Opéra is the Palais Garnier, or Opéra Garnier, active since 1875 and designed by the architect who gave it the name: Charles Garnier.

Built in the Second Empire style, the Baroque interior features a remarkable foyer with a wonderful parquet floor decorated with geometric patterns. The herringbone wooden floor of the Opéra Library-Museum is also interesting.

Royal Palace of Monza, Italy

With its 2000 square meters of parquet, the Royal Villa of Monza, also known as Reggia di Monza, is an unmissable place for lovers of decorated wooden floors.
It was built between 1777 and 1780 on commission from Maria Theresa of Austria, who wanted a summer residence for her son Ferdinand of Habsburg.
Recently restored (the works were completed in 2014), each area of the building has a unique motif and walking around the rooms you can admire dozens of types of inlays and decorations made with diverse woods.

Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia

Located in St. Petersburg, Russia, the Hermitage is among today’s most famous and important museums in the world. In addition to the architecture and the countless works of art on display (the museum’s collections include more than 3 million pieces), the wooden floors also contribute to making the place unique. The inlays are of an extraordinary quality and variety. For example, in the St. George’s Hall, there is an 800 square meter parquet made with 16 different types of wood, with a motif that recalls that of the ceiling.

Belvedere Castle in Vienna, Austria

pavimenti

Vienna’s Belvedere Castle is one of the masterpieces of the Austrian Baroque. Some of the rooms have beautiful “Versailles-style” parquets.

Sintra National Palace, Portugal

Sintra’s Palacio Nacional, built in the late 15th century for Portuguese monarchs, consists of several areas built in successive eras, and represents a mix of architectural styles, including Gothic, Renaissance and Romantic.

Declared a national monument in 1910, the Palácio Nacional de Sintra boasts some rooms with wooden floors decorated with inlays.

Carefully examining the floor of a historic building means discovering hidden treasures and obtaining important information on the architectural style, dating and history of the building itself. Preserving and restoring the floor is a crucial task to maintain the authenticity and integrity of these architectural marvels, enabling future generations to admire their beauty and understand their value.