The second body of the municipal buildings is the Palazzo dei Priori, the judiciary documented in Assisi from 1320. In 1337 the priors of the doors bought a house on the main square by the Florentine Company Bardi, and built the vault that rests at the Palazzo del Popolo and supersedes the direct route to the Moiano gate. The building was largely rebuilt in the time of Pope Sixtus IV della Rovere (1471-1484). It consists in a vast underground environment at the level of the Roman pavement, an open gallery on the ground floor that hosted the Monte di Pietà (pawnshop) founded in 1468, and an upper floor for the residence of the Priors.
Palazzo dei Priori – Plaque in memory of Giovanni Andrea Cruciani
The large plaque on the upper floor of the Palace bears the coat of arms of Pope Paul III Farnese, the cardinals Ascanio Parisani and Alessandro Farnese, and the papal governor Giovanni Andrea Cruciani. The inscription – in Latin – recalls the division in the quarters of the city imposed by Giovanni Andrea Cruciani in 1542: Paul III Pontifex Maximus to Ascanio Cardinal of Rimini linked worthy, to Cardinal Alessandro Farnese great protector to Giovanni Andrea Cruciani upright governor, for the factions taken away, for public goods returned in part, and for the admirably ordered city quarters. MDXLII”.
Palazzo dei Priori – Coat of Arms Room
Following the annexation of Assisi in the state of Savoy (September 1860), the ancient Palazzo dei Priori was the subject of a major restoration, which removed the internal divisions to transform the building in the city administration. In 1870 the walls of the large entrance hall were decorated by Alessandro Venanzi (Perugia 1838 – Assisi 1916) with the views of winds among villas and castles of Assisi . The lower band depicts the coat of arms of the main local families. At the center of the vault is the heraldic shield of the city, the blue party at the silver cross and red to golden lion rampant. Palazzo dei Priori – Council Chamber
The Council Hall was decorated at the time of the mayor Peter Uber (1906-1910) by the architect and painter Carlo Gino Venanzi (Assisi 1875-1964), designer of the wood furniture and of the frescoes on the ceiling (1908-1909). The pavilion vault displays the allegorical figures of the School, of Charity and of Work and Hygiene, praising the Concordia in time of justice and freedom. The eighteen lunettes are decorated by medallions with the coat of arms of Assisi and portraits of illustrious personages, each identified by a cartouche. In the spandrels are the coats of arms of the major cities of Umbria.