In the second half of the 19th century, the old Palazzo Pubblico or Palazzo del Magistrato was demolished, to make room for a new building dedicated to the municipality.
For the new building, was chosen the project of the Trieste architect Giuseppe Bruni, who a few years earlier designed Palazzo Modello, located on the same square.
The project was approved on September 17, 1873, and the work began at the end of the same year under the direction of the engineer and architect Eugenio Geiringer. The works ended in 1875.
From a stage in front of the palace, Mussolini announced in 1938 the promulgation of racial laws in Italy, while on November 4, 1954, from the central balcony of the building, the president Luigi Einaudi and the mayor of the city, Gianni Bartoli, greeted the crowd gathered in the square during the celebrations for the return of Trieste to Italy.
The facade of the building, which overlooks Piazza Unità d’Italia, is built in an eclectic style, and consists of two lateral bodies of four floors, and a central body of five. The ground floor is marked by round arches that reproduce the idea of a portico, while on the upper floors there are numerous mullioned windows.
At the center of the palace, stands the clock tower, on top of which are the statues of two Moors flanking the bell. The two sculptures, nicknamed Micheze and Jacheze, were commissioned by Bruni in memory of the two Moors who struck the chimes on top of the Mandracchio Tower, which once represented the gateway to the port, demolished in 1838.
The original statues were made in bronze by the sculptor Fausto Asteo da Ceneda and installed on top of the tower in January, 1876. In 1972, the statues were replaced with copies, to avoid deterioration. The originals remained in a warehouse until 2004, when they were finally restored and placed at the entrance of the Castello di San Giusto.
HOW TO GET THERE
Palazzo del Municipio is located about 1 kilometer from the Trieste Centrale railway station. The closest bus stop is in Via Diaz 1/D, about 150 meters away, on the bus Line 24.