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Museo di Palazzo Pretorio, Prato

(4.5/5 based on 180+ reviews on the web)
The Palazzo Pretorio of the Tuscan town of Prato was the old city hall located town center, standing in front of the current Palazzo Comunale. It now accommodates the Civic Museum of Prato, which was reopened on September 2013.HistoryThe main structure in its present form, was assembled during the late 13th century and early 14th century from the merger of three separate buildings, fused to house the local Podestà, the judiciary and Prison. The different building materials, evident from the facade, still allow us to distinguish the outlines of the earlier structures. The oldest part is the tower-house still discernible on the right (13th century), which had belonged to the family of Pipini, with a portico on the ground floor with pilasters of limestone then buffered but still visible. It was purchased in 1284 from the captain of the people of Fresco Frescobaldi to house the municipal government. During the 16th century, the building, including the belltower, collapsed. The restoration added a new bell-tower and crowning crenellations. The interiors were often divided into smaller rooms over time. Towards the end of 19th century, it was proposed for demolition, but by 1909 it was decided to restore the building.The left hand part of the facace and building dates back to the 14th century and has eight elegant mullioned windows and a tabernacle. In this tarbarnacle, until at least 1799, stood a statue of the 14th century Robert of Anjou, once viewed as a defender of the city. Unfortunately, it was he, who sold Prato to Florence, ending the town's independence. From the portal on the ground floor one enters a series of rooms with original frescoes: the earliest frescoes (1307) by Bettino Corsino and later frescoes (1425) by Pietro and Antonio di Miniato. The wide outdoor staircase leads to the main floor.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Beautiful old building to visit in the middle of the historic centre of Prato, the Museum inside very well-run and interesting.
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  • Since it was opened I was able to admire precious works and of the highest standard. The exhibitions brought priceless works at the vision of pratesi. It's nice every now and then putting back the hourglass and dive into the ideas and thoughts of artists of various periods. While not great the Praetorian Palace welcomes inside many works of absolute value, food for thought. A treasure chest in the heart of the city.
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  • It is a museum not large but very rich in art works really nice. Wooden paddles are beautiful as well as Renaissance paintings especially those by Filippo Lippi and his son Filippino. The Palace, closed for many years, is a wonderful very special structure which makes the Centre of Prato unique and surprising.
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Google
  • We had a meeting there. The building was really impressive with the walls painted with murals.
  • Super
  • Civic and Diocesan Museum containing unique works of art belonging to the city of Prato. Great layout, to improve the guides!
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  • It may seem a long shot call a Uffizi in miniature, but really.
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  • Really beautiful recently restored Museum. The collection of works is truly remarkable. Highly recommend taking a guided tour so you can fully enjoy the beauty of the exhibits. Also the beautiful rooftop terrace where you can enjoy the view at 360 degrees of Prato
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