Palazzo dei Penitenzieri Rome
Address, tariffs, times
The Palazzo dei Penitienzieri is located in the Via della Conciliazione, 33 – Rome (on the corner with the Via dei Cavalieri del Santo Sepolcro). Visits: The palace can be visited only with a group of at least 20 people with a private guide (Monday to Friday from 2:30 to 5 p.m.). Reservation in advance (tel/fax. +39 0669892930) is required. Entrance fee: 5 Euro.
History Palazzo dei Penitenzieri
The Palazzo dei Penitenzieri was commissioned between 1480 and 1490 by Cardinal Domenico della Rovere (father of the later Pope Julius II). The architect of the palace, originally called Palazzo della Rovere, was Baccio Pontelli.
The facade is somewhat reminiscent of the one of the Palazzo Venezia, which was also the commission Pontelli was given. The building has three floors each with 9 windows. On the left side is a massive tower.
After the death of Domenico della Rovere, the palace came into the hands of Cardinal Francesco Alidosi, who was to be killed as a traitor by Francesco Maria Della Rovere. the latter also lived in the building and was responsible for several restorations.
The famous artist Pinturicchio painted frescoes on the facade, but unfortunately these have not survived. However, the piano nobile is still graced by magnificent frescoes by his hand (and other painters).
The courtyard of the Palazzo dei Penitenzieri is framed by octagonal pillars and a loggia.
From 1655, the palace served as an Institute for Jesuit priests who heard confessions in St. Peter’s Basilica itself, which explains the name Palazzo dei Penitenzieri.
A restoration in the 1940s, which was part of the construction of the Via della Conciliazione, overturned a number of earlier renovations and returned the palace to its original Renaissance style.
An added benefit was the accidental discovery of a number of decorations, the existence of which was not even known, such as murals and friezes, as well as graffiti written or scratched on the wall by the Landsknechts during the sack of Rome in 1527.
After this restoration, the Penitenzieri moved to the Palazzo del Tribunale in the Vatican. The Santo Sepolcro Monastic Order took up residence in the palace.
Today the building also houses the Hotel Columbus.
On the facade, apart from the coat of arms of the Della Rovere, there are two fountains in the form of aediculas. These are decorated with the eagle and the dragon, elements from the coat of arms of Paul V Borghese, who was pope when the fountains were placed there. In one of them, the dragon has been replaced by the letters S.P.A. (Sacro Palazzo Apostolico).