Palazzo dei Banchi

Bologna, Italy

Palazzo dei Banchi

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Palazzo dei Banchi is a Renaissance-style palace façade located on the eastern flank of the Piazza Maggiore in the center of Bologna, region of Emilia-Romagna, Italy.

In the 16th century when the present façade was constructed, and perhaps still, the Piazza Maggiore was the main public plaza of Bologna, surrounded by the centers of religious and political governance, represented by the cathedral (Basilica of San Petronio) and the palaces of Re Enzo (Pretorian palace) and D'Accursio (city hall). Prior to the 16th century, this end of the Piazza was represented by a jumble of house and store-fronts. In 1412, the Piazza front was roofed with a portico. Amid the houses emerged small alleys: Via Pescherie Vecchie, Via Clavature, and Via degli Orefici, each with their own concentration of businesses. Underneath the porticos adjacent to the Piazza, bankers and merchants from the adjacent shops (botteghe) set up banchi to conduct their business. In the 15th and 16th centuries, among the families owning botteghe were the aristocratic and senatorial Malvasia, Duglioli, and Amorini families.

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