Palazzo Pubblico (Public Palace), Siena

Palazzo Pubblico (Public Palace), Siena (must see)

The Public Palace was completed in 1308 after being commissioned by the Council of Nine. It is a fine example of traditional Italian medieval architecture. The first floor is light-colored stone, and the upper floors are made of red brick. The facade is slightly curved inwards to reflect the curve of the Campo Square.

In the center of the facade, you will notice a round bronze plate. The Christogram plate was placed in 1425 to honor Saint Bernardino, whose sermons eased social unrest.

The triforate windows are an architectural specialty unique to Siena. The windows are divided with three arches resting on columns. Visitors will also notice the balzana, or coat of arms of the Town Council of Siena.

The attached bell tower, Mangia Tower, was completed in 1348. It stands at 102 meters, the same height as the Siena Cathedral. The height is also equal to the radius of the square. This was deliberate to show that the church and the state had equal power. The Mangia Tower has a gray upper loggia and a red brick base.

The Piazza Chapel was added in 1352 and features marble statues. The lower loggia was added to fulfill a promise that Black Death survivors made to the Holy Virgin. Visitors can climb the Mangia Tower for panaramic views of Siena.

The Public Palace housed the Council of Nine, who were chosen from the general public by lot. The Council of Nine lived in the palace to avoid outside influence and served for just two months before being replaced by the next set of members. The Public Palace also housed the 500 parliamentary members known as the Grand Council.

The internal courtyard is decorated with the coat of arms of families who served on the Council of Nine. Here, you can enter the Civic Museum and see all the world-class frescoes.

Why You Should Visit

The Public Palace is the crown of Campo Square and a great example of Siena's impressive architecture.

Tips

You can purchase a combined ticket to climb the Mangia Tower and visit the Civic Museum. Arrive early as the tower tickets sell out fast.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Siena. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Palazzo Pubblico (Public Palace) on Map

Sight Name: Palazzo Pubblico (Public Palace)
Sight Location: Siena, Italy (See walking tours in Siena)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Siena, Italy

Create Your Own Walk in Siena

Create Your Own Walk in Siena

Creating your own self-guided walk in Siena is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Siena's Palaces Walking Tour

Siena's Palaces Walking Tour

A leisurely stroll through downtown Siena – a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, full of imperious castles, palaces and other historic buildings – promises an exciting day of discovery and a pleasant experience for architecture buffs.

While most Italian cities have a church on their main square, Siena's famous Piazza Del Campo gathers around the city hall, known as Palazzo Pubblico...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.7 Km or 0.4 Miles
Medieval Siena Walking Tour

Medieval Siena Walking Tour

Siena is a beautiful medieval city whose Gothic-era identity, acquired between the 12th and 15th centuries, has been successfully preserved due to the centuries of political and economic irrelevance in the shadow of its grander neighbor Florence. Today's Siena is a cultural gold mine and ideal place to revel in medieval Italy.

No tour of Siena is complete without visiting its heart, the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 Km or 2.2 Miles
Siena Old Town Walking Tour

Siena Old Town Walking Tour

Siena was originally settled by Etruscans of Italy and later settled by Romans, who emulated Etruscan culture and named the city Sena Julia. The Lombard Kings then developed the city. By the 12th century, Siena was self-governing.

Siena established the Council of Nine in 1270. This Council was responsible for a flourishing economy, a focus on art, and a building boom. In 1348, Siena was...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 Km or 0.7 Miles