Palazzo Capranica Rome

The Palazzo Capranica is a historical building in the center of Rome. It is located just north of the Pantheon and near the Church of Santa Maria Maddalena. The palazzo, nowadays used as a congress center and (sometimes) concert hall, was constructed by Carlo Buratti. It is one of very few 15th century buildings left in Rome.

Palazzo Capranica Rome

Address, opening hours and admission

Address: Piazza Capranica, 101 – Rome. (There is a secondary entrance in the Via del Collegio Capranica, 36-43.) The building can only be visited during special events.

History and description

The building is named for the Capranica family that had it constructed. The Capranica‘s lived in the village of Capranica Prenestina near Palestrina, then owned by the Colonna family.

In 1423 Pope Martin V Colonna made Domenico Capranica into a cardinal. In 1458 he did the same for Domenico‘s brother, Angelo. Angelo, who had been bequeathed the Palazzo Capranica by his brother, on the condition that he would also use it as the seat of a Collegio for people who wished to follow a religious career, enlarged the building in such a way that his family and the collegio had separate entrances and facilities.

The left part of the building, with the tower, is the Collegio Capranica, whereas the right part is the original Palazzo Capranica. The addition made the building resemble the Palazzo Venezia.

In the 18th century an extra floor (without windows) was added to the building. The windows of the Palazzo Capranica part are Gothic, which is quite an unusual feature of buildings in Rome.

Above the entrance of the Collegio a number of almost completely wiped out coats-of-arms can be seen, the middle one of which belonged to Pope Nicholas V. The side entrance to the building does have the coat-of-arms of Cardinal Capranica.

From 1679 till 1881 the Palazzo Capranica was the seat of the Teatro Capranica. Pompeo Capranica had had all the internal walls of the building removed in order to create the necessary space. After the theater was closed, the building was used as storage space for furniture until it became the seat of one of Rome’s best-known cinemas, the Cinema Capranica (from 1922 until 2000).

Piazza Capranica

Piazza Capranica Rome
Piazza Capranica

The palace is not the only beautiful building in the square, which used to be the scene of the mercato dei barilari, a market for barrel makers and wine-making supplies.

Piazza Capranica, 101 – Rome

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