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Palazzo Della Ragione
Padua and surrounding
Architecture,  Palaces

One of Padua's main attractions is located right in the city center, between the market squares of Piazza della Frutta and Piazza della Erbe. This is the Palazzo Della Ragione, also known as the Palace of Mind or the Palace of Justice (built mainly for local court sessions). Although during its centuries-old history, the Palazzo Della Ragione has been changed and reconstructed several times, both outside and inside, it has always remained one of the main symbols of the city.

The construction of the palace with three halls began in the second half of the 12th century. It got its present appearance only in the 15th century when the Italian architect Giovanni degli Eremitani had undertaken the restoration of the building. The architect added another floor, as well as a porch and loggias on the north and south sides. He also made the most famous feature of the Palazzo Della Ragione: he created a single space inside the building by removing the partitions between the halls and changed the shape of the roof, designing it in the form of an upturned ship hull.

Since then, the Palazzo Della Ragione has been considered the largest hall without additional supports in Europe. It is difficult to imagine the majesty and tremendousness of this hall without actually visiting it: its area is almost 2,350 square meters, and the ceiling height reaches 24 meters.

The spacious hall is decorated with several hundred frescoes on astronomical and biblical themes. Unfortunately, the initial picture of the night sky with seven thousand stars made by the Proto-Renaissance artist Giotto di Bondone per the map of the astrologer Pietro d'Abano has not been preserved, but visitors can still admire equally skillful paintings of calendar deities and zodiacal signs restored by Nicolo Miretto and Stefano da Ferrara.

Other decorative elements of the Palazzo Della Ragione include the wooden figure of a horse, which is especially appreciated by tourists. It is a copy of the original equestrian statue of the Italian condottiere Gattamelata by Donatello. Many people mistake this horse for the famous Trojan one from ancient Greek mythology.

Address: Piazza delle Erbe

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