The Palazzo della Mercanzia has been the seat of the chamber of commerce of Bologna for more than 6 centuries. It is also known as Palazzo dei Mercanti or Loggia del Carrobbio. Its facade is built in Gothic style.
Palazzo della Mercanzia Bologna
Address: Piazza Della Mercanzia, 4 – 40125 Bologna (BO). Tel: +39 051 6093111. Opening hours: From 07.30 to 12.30 and from 14.30 to 19.30. Public transportation: Bus: 11, 13, 14, 19, 20, 25, 27, 29, 30, A, B.History
The Palazzo della Mercanzia has been the seat of the city’s Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Agriculture and Crafts since the late 14th century. Construction of what was then called Loggia del Carobbia started in 1384. The architects were Antonio di Vincenzo and Lorenzo Bagnomarino, who joined three already existing houses for this purpose. These buildingss were already serving as customs and toll booths.
Construction was completed in 1391. In 1439, the construction had to be enlarged and in 1484 a renovation took place. This had become necessary after the Torre de’ Bianchi had fallen and caused much damage.
Between 1888 and 1890 new repairs took place. In 1949 part of the facade collapsed after a bomb from World War II found in the neighborhood was detonated.
The building is made of the stone types laterizio and Istria. It is characterized by two deep Gothic arches, underneath a marble balcony. From this balcony, the judges of the commercial court read out their decisions. These judgments were announced by the ringing of a bell called Lucardina. From the balcony, a tall spire rises above the battlements adorning the top of the palace.
Merchants who had gone bankrupt were publicly humiliated by chaining them to the central pillar of the loggia.
The foundation of the portico is higher than the square itself.
The works of art in the rooms and corridors of the palace are largely preserved in their original state.
On one of the sides, an early 15th century plaque is attached. It claims that the members of the Studio di Bologna and their relatives do not have to pay for books and other items they need to carry out their work.