Piazza dei Mercanti - Milan, Italy
|Date Added: May 16, 2012 12:58:25 PM|
|Category: Europe: Italy|
The Piazza dei Mercanti was the center of medieval Milan.
Today, it retains some of its medieval character.
The piazza's construction began in 1228. Located near Milan Cathedral, the Piazza dei Mercanti provides many examples of Milanese civil architecture from the 13th through the 17th centuries.
Originally, the piazza was built as a square surrounded by six gateways. Only one of these gateways is still standing.
The Palazzo del Ragione (Palace of Justice) was in the center of the original square. It was built between 1228 and 1233. Today, this popular tourist attraction can be found on the northeastern side of the piazza.
An administrative building that was built in 1316, the Loggia degli Ossii, can be found in the Piazza dei Mercanti. The city fathers used to address the citizens of Milan from this marble building.
The Palazzo delle Scuole Palatine is next to the Loggia degli Ossii. This baroque palace was built in 1645. There are sculptures depicting Saint Augustine and Ausonius, a Roman poet, on the facade.
In the middle of the piazza , there is a well that dates from the 16th century. This spot once contained a stone known as the Pietra dei Falliti. People who were convicted of bankruptcy would sit on the stone and receive their sentences in public view. It has been claimed that those who had been declared bankrupt had to remove their trousers and bang their naked buttocks against the stone, then run past their creditors.