Palazzo Falconieri Rome
The address of the Palazzo Falconieri is Via Giulia, 1 – Rome. Phone: +39 066889671. (This is the phone number of the Hungarian Academy.)
History and description
The Palazzo Falconieri was commissioned by the Odescalchi family in 1576. It originally had eight windows and a portal with the iris (the symbol of the Farnese family) on the keystone and symbols of the Odescalchi themselves on the cornice of the facade.
In 1606, the building was bought by Mario Farnese. In 1638, it passed into the hands of the Falconieri family, who were from Florence and had enriched themselves in Rome by being allowed to collect the gabelle (a kind of tax) on salt.
Between 1646 and 1649 the palazzo was enlarged by Borromini. On the right side of the facade he made a blind door, identical to the already existing door on the left, thus creating symmetry. A falcon (symbol of the Falconieri) was depicted on this door.
The ends were decorated with two huge hermae with falcon heads and women’s breasts. (Hermae are sculptures with a head on top of a squared body, sometimes with sculpted male genitals.)
On the side of the Tiber, a new wing was added, with a loggia consisting of three arches and a balustrade decorated with two-sided hermae.
When the Falconieri became extinct out in 1865, hte building was sold to the Medici del Vascello.
In 1890 the great walls along the Tiber were erected. As a result, the palace underwent some modifications.
After it was bought by the Hungarian Vilmos Frankoi, who founded the Historical-Geographical Institute, it came into the hands of the Hungarian government in 1927. Since 1928 it has been the seat of the Hungarian Academy.