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Museo di Palazzo Pretorio, Prato
(4.7/5 based on 160+ 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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  • Reopened by 2013, after a long closed to the public, the Museum of Palazzo Pretorio is housed in the ancient Palazzo Comunale di Prato, and is a building rather massive and austere, which has withstood the centuries and communicates a sense of solid elegance today. The Palace in the form more akin to today's was born in the 13th and 14th centuries in the fusion of three separate buildings. Today it houses a rich collection of medieval and Renaissance art, until the 19th century; from the upper floors you can enjoy a beautiful view of the lawn.
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  • Together with the Town Hall, overlooking the charming piazza del Comune. Today it is the seat of the Civic Museum, while in the past it housed the seat of the municipality. It is the seat of the Civic Museum, with works ranging from the Middle Ages up to 800 (including some paintings by Filippo Lippi).
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  • Museum in the Centre of Prato with medieval structure, interesting visit to see some pieces of the city's past
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