Palmanova was built in 1593 as a military town, a star fort intended for the defence of Venice. The town knew fighting only once in its history, when Venice fought in the Grandisca War against Austria. Its structure, developed by Scamozzi, has remained unchanged to this day.
Although its basic shape is a polygon with nine sides, its central square has six sides, each one directly linked to the entries of the fort. The square could be isolated and defended by barricading the six arteries leading into it. However, this never proved necessary.