Palazzo della Ragione

Piazza dei Mercanti (Milan)

The Palazzo della Ragione is located in piazza dei Mercanti in Milan, opposite the Loggia degli Osii.

Origin and function

Milan had three broletti; the oldest is the small, contiguous to the brolo Archbishopric and the Duomo, precisely where today stands the Royal Palace; the second said New and third, said New, Saint Marcellin's Lane (today via Broletto), Carmagnola Palace.
The second was the center of life in the city since its construction in 1233 when it was erected by the podestà by Aaron Tresseno (or Chicago), and was used for a long period, until 1776.

Become notary archives headquarters in 1773-during the reign of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria-for increased space was completely renovated by architect Francis cross, which obliterated the medieval Windows, making the building sopralzò of large oval Windows and reduced him to the neo-classical style.
In 1854, the architect Henry Terzaghi, the porch of the ground floor was closed to stained glass supported by cast iron trellises and the ceiling was then replaced by arches sometimes. Palazzo della Ragione, between 1866 and 1870, hosted the first headquarters of the Banca Popolare di Milano. Between 1905 and 1907 was again opened the large ambulatory.
With the revival of interest in medieval architecture the plaster that covered the ancient part of the building were removed, the Windows smurate and supplement abandoned a fate of decrepitude, but not deleted because the interior spaces continued to be used.

During the 1970s the notarial archive was transferred, and he began to speak of a possible restoration of previous forms to supplement teresiano, considered largely unrelated to structure and of no historical value. To this were added then objective problems related to immobility of the building, which had to be resolved. However, intervention by Marco Dezzi Bardeschi and few others led to the maintenance of the structure, which was later commissioned architect-in 1978 the reset. I edited so the structural consolidation, making changes to guarantee that basic functionality, such as the construction of heating systems, the reconstruction of the pavement and the inclusion of security scale, critics object to the refusal of the architect to make a stylistic mimicry.


The building has a rectangular plan that opens like a real covered square, with two spacious aisles by arcades. These arches consist of seven arches on the sides and two minor ones, placed on large stone pillars. The archivolts are simple, with brick and marble blocks alternated with round, except those extremes on both sides who are sixth.
The floor of the porch you enter piazza Mercanti through five steps which occupy the entire side.
The upper floor in front, towards the square, five large Windows, compared to asymmetric arches beneath a round arched window with the relief of Aaron from Tresseno and construction commemorative plaque in his name. The Windows are framed by creases with terracotta and brick Arch of stone and enclose three minor arches resting on columns with capitals in leaves. Niche is a statue of Aaron.


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