Palazzo del Sedile (Palace of the Seat), known also as the Palazzo dei Nobili, is a palace located in the historical center of Bari, in Piazza Mercantile. The palace, of which today only the facade remains, was once the Town Hall of the city.
The first documented information about a municipal office in Bari dates back to 1466, when the notary Giovanni de Lutiis mentioned a place in Piazza Mercantile, where the Municipality met to discuss the problems of the city.
In 1601, a serious disaster occurred, originated from a small fire ignited in Piazza Mercantile, which spread very quickly to the buildings in the square and to the city’s arsenal, where gunpowder and weapons were kept. The explosion caused the death of over 60 people and ruined many buildings, including the municipal palace.
In 1602, the palace was rebuilt by the Mayors Nicola Donato and Pietro Ponzo, as a plaque recalls, along with the arsenal and the city wall. In 1604, the Municipality built a small bell tower on top of the building and had a German-manufactured clock installed, which struck every quarter of an hour.
The activity of the municipal seat ceased in the early 19th century, when the Town Hall moved in Via Palazzo di Città. The palace was then used as a public theater until July 13, 1835, when a threat of collapse interrupted a theatrical performance. The palace was then sold to private owners and later taken back by the Municipality.
HOW TO GET THERE
Palazzo del Sedile is located near the southern edge of the historical center of Bari, in Piazza Mercantile, about 1.3 kilometers away from the Bari Centrale train station. You can reach the nearby Piazza del Ferrarese with one of the bus Lines 2, 4, 10, 12, 12/, 21 and 35, and then continue on foot to Piazza Mercantile.
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