Palazzo dei Priori
In Piazza IV Novembre, in the heart of Perugia, sits one of the most imposing architectonic expressions of the mediaeval culture in Italy and one of Perugia’s most important and significant monuments: Palazzo dei Priori.
It is seat of Perugia Municipality, the Galleria Nazionale of Umbria and hosts the two most important medieval guilds: the Merchants’ Guild and Moneychangers’ Guild.
Palazzo dei Priori was built between the 13th and the 15th centuries. It is made of white travertine from Assisi and Bettona’s white and pink stone.
The project is designed in Gothic style.
Its austere mass, completely closed in a vest of square stone and only slightly embellished by two rows of beautiful Gothic windows with three lights which run along its longer side, stands on the square like an enormous bastion.
It was hugely altered during the Church’s dominion, but was restored to its original state after 1860.
The Palace is adorned by a portal which was built in 1346 and is the work of great mastery, with several whittled decorations depicting various scenes of city life.
Above the portal are bronze copies of the griffin of Perugia and the Guelph lion (the originals, 1271-81, from the fountain by Arnolfo di Cambio, are in the hall of Palazzo dei Priori).
From this portal, one enters the National Gallery of Umbria, which contains Umbria’s most important collection of paintings. In the museum’s numerous rooms incredible works of art are preserved. You can also admire paintings by Perugino, who contemporaries regarded as one of the leading painters in Florence in the 1480s and as the “best master in Italy” in 1500.