The birth certificate of the palace was signed on September 26, 1609, with a formal request from Captain Mocenigo to Nicolò Donà, the Doge of Venice. For the construction of the structure, it was chosen a location close to the walls of the Citadel, in order to have a wall already built, and to reduce costs and work times.
On December 30, 1609, the authorization was granted by the Doge, but in 1614 the budget for the construction was exhausted and the works were suspended.
Only in 1808, the works resumed, after almost two hundred years of inactivity. The construction was entrusted to the architect Giuseppe Barbieri, who will also build Palazzo della Gran Guardia Nuova (Palazzo Barbieri), now the city’s Town Hall.
However, the works began only in 1818, under the rule of the Habsburg Empire. In 1848, the works, still in progress, were stopped because the building was used by the Austrian army during the first war of independence. Palazzo della Gran Guardia was finally completed in 1853.
The palace is now used for exhibitions and conferences.
When it was built, Palazzo della Gran Guardia closed the southern side of Piazza Brà, giving it a new layout and the role of the main square of Verona, a role that was attributed in the past to Piazza delle Erbe.
The facade of the palace is divided between two floors, with a small attic on top, which rises on an architrave with metopes and triglyphs. The ground floor has 13 arches in rustic ashlar, each with a diameter that exceeds three and a half meters, which recall the arches of the Arena.
On the upper floor, we can find 15 large rectangular windows with triangular and curvilinear tympanums, interspersed with double Doric semi-columns.
HOW TO GET THERE
Palazzo della Gran Guardia is located about 1.5 kilometers away from the Verona Porta Nuova railway station. The closest bus stop is near the palace, in Piazza Bra, on the bus Lines 11, 12, 13, 51, 52, 90, 92, 94, 96, 97 and 98.
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