Beginning with 1240, when the large hall of Palazzo della Ragione was destroyed in a fire, the city’s council met in the Loggia del Consiglio, hence the name of the building. The palace is also known as the Loggia della Gran Guardia, because it was used as a military commandment during the Austrian domination.
The elegant Mannerist building was designed by Annibale Maggi from Bassano, and built starting with the year 1496. The works proceeded slowly and were often interrupted by long pauses, of which the longest was after the Siege of Padua by the Roman Emperor Maximilian I, in 1509, during the War of the League of Cambrai.
The work resumed in 1516 under the guidance of Biagio del Bigio from Ferrara, and later, starting with 1530, continued under the direction of the architect Giovanni Maria Falconetto. Faconetto, due also to his work on the Torre dell’Orologio, played an important role in the new configuration of the square.
In 1866, the Loggia del Consiglio became part of the municipal patrimony, and was subsequently used for cultural manifestations.
ART AND ARCHITECTURE
The Loggia, for the harmony of proportions and its sober elegance, is one of the most important works of the Late Renaissance, a true masterpiece of the local architecture from the 16th century.
Preceded by a wide staircase, the Loggia del Consiglio has a facade with seven arches and two lateral ones, set on columns and corner pillars. The Loggia has a beamed ceiling and is adorned with marble decorations and coats of arms.
Inside, through a large staircase, one reaches a large hall with a coffered ceiling, decorated by Giovanni Paolo da Venezia and Girolamo dal Santo. The walls of the hall were frescoed in 1667 by Pier Antonio Torri.
HOW TO GET THERE
Loggia del Consiglio is located about 1.4 kilometers from the Padua railway station. The closest bus stop is Duomo, located about 120 meters away, in Piazza Duomo, on the bus Line U02.