The Palazzo Pretorio, together with the Palazzo del Comune and the Duomo, is one of the three important buildings in the Piazza del Duomo in Pistoia. It is also known by the name Palazzo del Podestà. It is traditionally the seat of the city’s judicial administrators.
Palazzo Pretorio Pistoia
The address of the Palazzo Pretorio is Piazza del Duomo, snc – Pistoia. Opening hours: Unknown. Entrance fee: Unknown.
History and description
The Palazzo Pretorio was built in the second half of the 14th century. It is also known as the Palazzo del Podestà. It has traditionally been the seat of the judicial administrators of Pistoia, namely the Podestà during the Middle Ages and the Florentine Commissioners during the Medici rule.
A few years after its original construction, a new wing was added to the palace. This new section served as a sleeping quarters for the guards, as a stable and as a prison.
In the courtyard you can still see the 16th century stone chairs on which the magistrates used to sit when a public trial took place.
In the early 19th century, the Palazzo Pretorio became the seat first of the Tribunale Collegiale and then of the Regio Tribunale di Prima Istanza.
Between 1836 and 1846, new renovations and extensions took place. It is in this period that also the 15th century coats of arms of the Podestà and the Commissioners adorning the Loggia were finished by Bartolomeo Valiani, Ferdinando Marini and Aurelio Machol. They also added paintings of events pertaining to the city’s history.
The stairs to the right of the entrance led to the private apartments and to the large auditorium on the second floor, where justice is still administered today.