The Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo is a historic building in the center of Pistoia. However, what used to be the seat of the representative of the people after whom the palace is named, is now taken up by retail space and private residences.
Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo Pistoia
The address of the Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo is Via di Stracceria – Pistoia. The building is privately owned.
History and description
The Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo is located near the Piazza del Duomo. Its construction was commissioned in 1282.
The Capitano del Popolo (“Captain of the People”) was the magistrate who represented the interests of the people. He acted as a kind of counterbalance to the till, then far more influential, aristocracy. He was elected by the people themselves.
In the second half of the 14th century, the Pistoiese Captain was replaced by a Capitano from Florence.
The Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo is fairly well preserved, with its original biforums and massive stone towers.
It actually consists of three buildings, namely the corner tower, the tower house south of it and a third, lesser building. On this last palace you can still see traces of the large windows that used to give the interior spaces the character of a loggia.
Various renovations have caused some changes in the architectural layout. The original semi-circular arches were divided in two by white marble biforas. Later, square windows were placed in the arches.
In the 19th century, the monoforas of the corner tower were replaced by biforas.
Today the building serves partly as an apartment complex and partly as retail space.