Palazzo Pfanner is the most elegant residential building of Lucca. The building retains the Renaissance architectural patterns and is one of the most popular tourist spots of Lucca.
The construction of Palazzo Pfanner was commissioned by Moriconi family in the year 1660. The family faced the loss of wealth and bankruptcy and sold the building to the Controni family. Controni family was a family of silk merchants and rose to nobility through their riches. Controni family further strengthened, upgraded and enlarged the building. The architectural changes and works were done by Domenico Martinelli, who was an architect from Lucca and had also worked in bigger european cities like Prague and Vienna. Martinelli built the great and monumental staircase of the building in the year 1686, and the work was commissioned by the Controni family.
Filippo Juvarra (an architect born in Sicily) upgraded the garden of the building in the 18th century. The local painters of Lucca called "Quadraturisti" decorated the walls of the building staircase and also further beautified the interior of the buildings. Palazzo Pfanner hosted the Prince of Denmark, Frederick, who was welcomed here by the Controni family while he was on his Grand Italy Tour.
A local brewer from Austria called Felix Pfanner (from Bavarian family) acquired the whole structure including the building and the garden in the 19th century. Here he established the first brewery of Lucca. The brewery was also one of the first in Italy. The brewery was set up completely in the year 1846. The building and the area hosted the beer garden, Palazzo cellars and the production site. The historic brewery, also called as the Pfanner brewery closed down in the year 1929.
The truly magnificent garden of the Palazzo Pfanner, built and upgraded by Filippo Juvarra, had a number of lawns, forest plants, ornamental flowers, lemon earthenware pots and a beautiful and classic monumental string of statues that were built and installed in the 18th century. The statutes depicted Greek Olympus deities and the 4 year seasons. The garden also has the octagonal basin fountain. The fountain has been set at the intersection point of the 2 central paths of the garden. Also adjacent to the area is the lemon houses (faces north). The Controni family's emblem of 2 lions with a basilisk (a mythical reptile) features here.
A tourist can currently visit only the residential area of the Palazzo Pfanner. At the entrance of the beautiful building, you will find the large reception hall. Here you can find the unique and ancient frescoes (watercolor paintings on walls and ceilings). These were painted in the year 1720 by the Italian painter Pietro Paolo Scorsini (his paintings belonged to Quadraturismo, an art and painting genre). The building has many ancient furniture sets, old furnishings, sacred and holy objects. A true masterpiece art form here is the Archangel Michael’s wooden statue.
Dr. Pietro Pfanner was a surgeon, a philanthropist and the mayor of the city of Lucca from the year 1920 to the year 1922 and was the owner of Palazzo Pfanner. One section of the building permanently exhibits the medical and surgical equipment and some medical texts (belonging to ancient times) that were owned and used by the Doctor. The Pfanner family still owns the Palazzo or the private residence. The family has improved the building further and has also done some restoration works. The building is now open to visitors
The Principe Federico Suite
A tourist can also stay in the Palazzo in the Principe Federico Suite. The suite has been named so in honor and memory of Prince Fredrick Of Denmark who stayed at this very place in the year 1692. He was later crowned as the king of Norway and Denmark and was called as Frederick IV. The suite offers a splendid and mesmerizing view of the Lucca city walls and the nearby garden. It also many dated antiques in the form of furniture.