Palazzo dei Priori
Built between the 13th and 15th century, the impressive Gothic architecture of Palazzo dei Priori is an indication of the power and pride of the city of Perugia at the time. Today the palazo houses the city administration and the Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria.
The Piazza Facade and the Chains of the Gates of Siena
A fan-shaped staircase built into the 13th century section of the building is flanked by two two-mullioned windows and leads up to the Sala dei Notari. The chains and bars placed hanging above were removed from the gates of the city of Siena by the troops of Perugia and brought here to commemorate the city's victory in the Battle of Torrita (1358). Copies of the griffin, symbol of Perugia, and the Guelph lion, are placed above – the originals are inside the building.
The narrow Via della Gabbia runs along the right hand side of the building and takes its name from a cage kept hanging here in the Middle Ages where criminals were left to end their days.
The Sala dei Notari
The entrance from the square leads to the Medieval Sala del Popolo, which in 1582 became the seat of the Arte dei Notai. This is a large, vaulted chamber whose ceiling is supported by eight vast arches. The richly decorated painted interior is thought to be the work of local artists influenced by the Rome School. Some have hazarded that the hands of the Maestro Espressionista di Santa Chiara and of the so-called Maestro del Farneto are visible in some of the figures. The coat of arms of Braccio Fortebracci da Montone decorates the upper section of the far wall.
The Interior of Palazzo Priori – the Ancient City Safe
The entrance is from Corso Vannucci. A number of coats of arms decorate the walls of the interior, along with a large 15th century chest that functioned as the safe of the Comune of Perugia. The Sala del Consiglio Comunale on the first floor contains a fresco by Pinturicchio (Madonna with Child and Two Angels). The Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria is on the third floor.
For those in need of a relaxing break in their tour of the centre of Perugia should stop at the Iris Hotel in Via Marconi 37 (Tre Archi area) Perugia, tel. (+39) 075.5720.259.
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