Giuseppe Bovara, architect and engineer of Lecco, whose neoclassical style we meet in many buildings of Lecco.
Giuseppe Bovara (1781-1873) was born from an eminent and wealthy family. We know very few about his youth, except that very soon he enters into friendship with Alessandro Manzoni, with whom he remains on friendly terms for a lifetime. He attended the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera and then graduated engineer and architect at the University of Pavia.
He was responsible for much of the urban development of Lecco in the second half of the nineteenth century.
There are many architectural works of Bovara in Lecco: in the old town center he designs the portico of piazza XX Settembre, where at number 43 we find the elegant Casa Bertarelli, where Antonio Stopppani was born. He designs the restoration of the façade of the church of Pescarenico, the parish church of Saint Anthony in Valmadrera, one of his most significant works with white granite columns in perfect Corinthian style. A few years later he devoted himself to the parish church of San Martino in Calolziocorte, with a nave with a very wide octagonal coffer vault. Giuseppe Bovara also delights in the design of altars, bell towers and façades of many other churches.
He was the designer of the Basilica of Lecco dedicated to St. Nicholas, of the hospital only realized in part and now the town hall (in via Sassi), the author of the transformation of the Viscontea Tower as a prison and now a museum (Piazza XX Settembre), then turns its attention to the business world of Lecco, building or expanding some spinning mills in Lecco, Malgrate and Valmadrera.
For sure we can say a great work of Bovara is his project of Teatro della società, inaugurated on 23 October, 1844 with the opera “Anna Bolena” by Gaetano Donizetti.
Lecco named a street after him: it rises from piazza XX Settembre to the town walls, representing the central street of the old fortified town of Lecco.
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