Palazzo della Ragione was built around the year 1250 on the ruins of a building located next to Rotonda di San Lorenzo. The palace was later used as the Town Hall and then as a market.
During the Gonzaga’s lordship, the palace was joined to Palazzo del Podesta, and used in the 15th century as the Palace of Justice, hence the name of Palazzo della Ragione. The external portico towards Piazza Erbe and the adjacent Clock Tower date from that period.
Palazzo della Ragione was renovated during the last years of the 17th century and the first years of the 18th century, based on a project by the architect Doricilio Moscatelli, known as Battaglia. During this period, the facade of the palace was radically transformed, with the removal of the original windows and the opening of new ones.
In 1942, on a project by the Mantuan architect Aldo Andreani, the original facade and the interior of the palace were restored.
Palazzo della Ragione was damaged by the earthquake of May 29, 2012, but was renovated in recent years and is currently used for exhibitions and events.
ART AND ARCHITECTURE
The ground floor of the palace, which is fronted by a 15th-century portico, is occupied by shops. The upper floor, illuminated by large three-light windows, consists of a single immense hall decorated with 13th-century frescoes signed by a certain Grisopolo of Parma.
To the right of the building stands the Clock Tower, built in 1473 by Luca Fancelli. The clock, with the dial restored in recent times, is what remains of the mechanism, coeval with the tower, built by the mathematician Bartolomeo Manfredi. Under the dial, inside an oval niche, there is a statue of the Immaculate Madonna from the early 1600s.
HOW TO GET THERE
Palazzo della Ragione is located about 1 kilometer away from the Mantua railway station. The closest bus stop is Concordia, a few meters away, on the bus Line CC.