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The Mole Antonelliana is a major landmark of the Italian city Turin. It is named for the architect who built it, Alessandro Antonelli. Construction began in 1863.

Originally, it was intended to be a Jewish synagogue, as religious freedom had just been granted to non-Catholic groups, but the relationship between Antonelli and the Jewish community was not a happy one. He immediately began to propose a series of modifications which raised the final height to 113 meters--over 47 meters higher than the dome in the original design. Such changes, in addition to greater costs and construction time than were originally anticipated, did not please the Jewish community and construction was halted in 1869 with a provisional roof. In 1873 an exchange with the city of Turin for other land for a synagogue took place, and the Mole was dedicated to Victor Emanuel II. Antonelli again began construction, which took the height to 146, 153, and finally 167 meters (548 feet).

On May 23 1953 a very violent cloudburst accompanied by a tornado, destroyed the upmost 47 metres of the pinnacle, which was rebuilt in 1961 as a metal structure covered with stone.

Since 2000, the building has housed the Museo Nazionale del Cinema, the National Museum of Film. The Mole appears on the reverse of the two cent Italian euro coins and was the official emblem of the 2006 Winter Olympics. It is also the official emblem of the 2005 World Bocce Championships and the 2006 World Fencing Championships.

Wikipedia source.

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Additional Photos by Carlos CB (belido) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5207 W: 315 N: 5056] (19934)
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