Palazzo della Ragione is an imposing palace in Padua, located in the historical center of the city, between the Piazza delle Erbe and Piazza della Frutta. The palace is famous for having the largest roof unsupported by columns in Europe. SHORT HISTORY The construction of the palace dates back to 1219, and was intended to house the courts of justice and financial offices of the city, a role it played throughout the Venetian domination, until 1797. The current shape of the palace is due to Frà Giovanni degli Eremitani who, between 1306 and 1309, raised the large hull-shaped roof and added the porch and the loggias covering the stairs. The roof was redone with larch trusses, without central columns and was covered with lead plates. On August 17, 1756, a tornado devastated the large building, destroying its roof and uncovering it. Bartolomeo Ferracina, engineer of the Republic of Venice, best known for the construction of the clock in Piazza San Marco, rebuilt the imposing structure. The courts of justice were transferred from the palace in 1797, and the hall was opened for large popular gatherings, anniversaries and parties. ART AND ARCHITECTURE The hall on the upper floor of Read more [...]
In Italy, a residence of a nobleman, usually larger than a regular house, is called palazzo, a term translated into English as palace. In the past, besides residences, the palazzi also functioned as warehouses and office spaces. Many cities in Italy have a Palazzo Ducale, the seat of the local lord. Probably, the city with the most palaces is Venice, mostly located on the banks of the Grand Canal.
Maybe the most important palaces in Italy are Palazzo Pitti and Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Palazzo Reale in Caserta, Doge’s Palace in Venice, Palazzo Reale in Milan, Palazzo del Quirinale in Rome, Palazzo Reale in Naples, Palazzo della Ragione in Padua and Palazzo dei Priori in Perugia. With so many palaces, it is hard to decide which are the most beautiful and worth visiting, and that is why we suggest that you visit them all.
Loggia del Consiglio is a beautiful Late Renaissance palace in Padua, located in the southwestern corner of Piazza dei Signori. 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. SHORT HISTORY 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 Read more [...]
Palazzo del Monte di Pietà is a medieval palace in Padua, located near the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, on the northern side of Piazza Duomo. SHORT HISTORY The palace was built between the 13th and 14th centuries, and it belonged to the famous moneylender Rinaldo Scrovegni. At the beginning of the 14th century, it was destroyed by a fire and subsequently abandoned. The palace was taken over by the noble family of da Carrara, and with the annexation of Padua by the Republic of Venice at the beginning of the 15th century, the building became the property of the Venetian government. A fire damaged much of the building in the first half of the 16th century. Doge Andrea Gritti, at the request of the bishop Pietro Barozzi, sold the palace for 10,000 ducats to the Monte di Pietà institution, founded by the Franciscans a few decades earlier to combat usury. The renovation of the facade was entrusted to the Veronese architect Giovanni Maria Falconetto, who redesigned the building on the basis of the six-arched loggia and the perimeter walls that survived the fire. The headquarters of the Monte di Pietà was inaugurated in 1533, while in the following Read more [...]
Palazzo Zacco al Prà is a beautiful palace in Padua, located on the western side of the square of Prato della Valle. SHORT HISTORY The construction of the building was begun on December 19, 1555, commissioned by Marco, an exponent of the Zacco family of Padua. The building was designed by Andrea Moroni, and probably incorporated some pre-existing buildings. The construction was completed in less than two years and, by 1557, the palace was already occupied by its owners. The Zacco family resided in the palace until the early 1800s. One of the last major events that took place in the palace was the stay of the Austrian Emperor Francis II of Habsburg and his wife, Carolina Augusta of Bavaria. On June 27, 1839, the last descendants of the historic owners sold the building to the Armenian Mekhitarist Congregation. Four years later, the palace became the Collegio Morat. Later, the property was taken over by the municipality of Padua, which in 1904 ceded it to the Italian state. Palazzo Zacco was declared a building of artistic interest on April 24, 1925. Occupied by various Military Commands, Palazzo Zacco became the Padua headquarters of the Officer’s Club of the Italian Read more [...]
Loggia Amulea is a neo-Gothic style palace in Padua, located on the western side of the beautiful square of Prato della Valle. SHORT HISTORY The Loggia takes its name from the cardinal Marco Antonio da Mula, known also as Amulio, who founded in Padua the Collegio Amulio and the Compagnia del Gran Nome di Dio, dedicated to the assistance of orphans. He owned a palace in Prato della Valle, which was destroyed by a fire in 1822. The Municipality of Padua then decided to built a new palace. Initially, the building was supposed to be divided into cafes, dance halls, game rooms, theaters, but later it was preferred to be used for military purpose. Around 1860, among the various competing projects, it was chosen the one presented by the architect Eugenio Maestri. The palace was the seat of the Padua fire brigade between 1906 and 1989. It currently houses some municipal offices. ART AND ARCHITECTURE The front of the building is characterized by an elegant loggia, a two-storey neo-Gothic structure which recovers medieval elements, especially in the use of architectural decorations in terracotta (architraves, tiles, pilasters). Between the lower arches of the loggia, there are the statues of Read more [...]