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Palazzo Pubblico




Siena, Italy




Mediaeval Italian Vernacular




The Palazzo Pubblico (town hall) is a palace in the city of Siena, Italy. Construction began in 1297 and its original purpose was to house the republican government, consisting of Podesta and the Council of Nine.

The palace is a focal point of the scallop-shell concavity of Piazza del Campo, Siena's premier square where the Palio is held. Within the palace, there are series of frescoes, by many painters over 2 centuries. Of these, there is the mysterious fresco of Guidoriccio da Fogliano at the siege of Montemassi, located in the Great Council Hall (Sala del Mappamondo). The fresco was painted presumably by Simone Martini, but this attribution has now been questioned. The wall has circular markings left by the circular wall-mounted (now lost) map of the world by Pietro Lorenzetti. The most remarkable art is the series on government in the Hall of the Nine (also known as Sala della Pace) by Ambrogio Lorenzetti. The lower storey is stone, while upper crenelatted stories with triple-arched windows framed by brick.

The building's most prominent feature is the tower, Torre del Mangia, which was built between 1325 and 1344 with its crown designed by the painter, Lippo Memmi.