ALLIO, Domenico I
(b. ca. 1510, Scaria, Lombardy, d. 1563, Graz)


Italian architect and engineer, part of a family artists architects, son of the master mason Martino Allio I. There are four branches of this family of artists. The family was originally from Scaria but in the 16th and 17th centuries many family members moved to Austria, Bavaria, Bohemia, and Hungary, where they worked in a variety of fields associated with building. There were many intermarriages in the Allio family and thus the family tree is complex.

Domenico is considered the most important member of this branch of the Allio family. He trained in northern Italy and is documented in Steiermark from 1530. Ferdinand I, King of Bohemia and Hungary (later Holy Roman Emperor) was his patron; in 1553 he was appointed royal master builder and in 1555 chief master builder of the Croatian and Slovene frontier area. In 1558 Domenico was ennobled. Domenico renewed and modernized the fortifications against the Turks at many sites. Among his non-military projects is the Landhaus (1556-63) at Graz, considered his most important project and one of the most architecturally interesting 16th-century monuments north of the Alps.

With the threat of Turkish invasion, Graz became the principal stronghold of middle Austria from 1543. The plans for the fortification of the Schlossberg and the city with bastions and curtain walls were probably by Lazarus Schwendi and executed by Domenico Allio I, among others.