Palazzo della Zecca in Banchi Rome
Address, opening hours and admission
Address: Via del Banco di Santo Spirito, 31 – Rome. The building is not accessible to the public.
History and description
The first stone of the palazzo was laid in the early 16th century, by order of Pope Julius II (Giuliano della Rovere). The palazzo‘s function at the time was to produce and preserve coins. The building, designed by Bramante, was made to look as magnificent as possible, because this way the Pope could show that papal power had returned to Rome after the return from its Avignon exile.
During the papacies of Leo X and Clemens VII (both members of the influential and famous Medici family), the entire district, but especially the Via dei Banchi Nuovi, was completely restructured. This also led to the construction of a new facade for the new Zecca (“Mint”), by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger. In those years Sangallo was a busy man, as he was also responsible for other prestigious works, such as the Palazzo Farnese and the San Giovanni dei Fiorentini church.
An important and unusual aspect of the new facade is that it was not really a renovation, but rather the application of a new layer over the old one.
When, in 1655, the Palazzo della Zecca Vecchia was transformed into the Banco di Santo Spirito, the sides of the building were adapted to be more in line with the new facade.
By the end of the 19th century the palazzo was again reconstructed, after a design by the Roman architect Francesco Azzurri.