The palace was built between 1668 and 1672 by the Capuchin friar Francesco da Copertino, as a diocesan seminary, at the behest of the Archbishop of Matera, Vincenzo Lanfranchi.
Built on a pre-existing convent of the Carmelites, whose order was suppressed in 1652, the palace was the seat of the city’s seminary until 1864. After the Unification of Italy, the building passed to the Piedmontese Government and became the seat of the Classical Lyceum and the National Boarding School.
The palace housed the Lyceum until 1980. Later, it hosted the offices of the Superintendency for Artistic and Historical Heritage of Basilicata and, since 2003, it is the seat of the National Museum of Medieval and Modern Art of Basilicata.
The asymmetric facade of the palace is divided horizontally into two orders by a cornice. In the lower order, there are five niches in which we can see the statues of San Nicola, the Madonna del Carmine, San Filippo Neri, San Giacinto and San Bartolomeo. The upper order has vertical pilasters with capitals, nine blind arches, the largest of which incorporates a rose window. Above the crowning of the facade, there is a pediment with a clock in the middle.
Inside, there is a staircase that allows access to a long corridor, which leads to an enchanting 17th-century cloister embellished by a sundial belonging to the second half of the 17th century and by busts that celebrate those who generously contributed to the construction of the building.
TIP: In 2019, Matera will be the European Capital of Culture, and if you have not visited the city until now, the moment has come. To gain access to all events in the Matera 2019 official programme, don’t forget to buy the Matera 2019 Passport.
HOW TO GET THERE
Palazzo Lanfranchi is located about 850 meters away from the Matera Centrale railway station. To reach the palace on foot, use the map below.