Italy Verona Palazzo della Ragione

This square building, with an interior courtyard, is located in the ancient Roman Forum, between Piazza delle Erbe and Piazza dei Signori, a 'Domus Communis' built in the late twelfth century to house the new magistrates of the City, incorporating several existing buildings. Over the centuries, Palazzo della Ragione was the fulcrum of political power the city, hosting the College of Notaries, the duty of the Silk Road, the House Tax, the Savings Bank, the Magistrates Court and the Court of Assizes. Originally the building was defended by four towers, of which today only ones facing Piazza delle Erbe still exists. Among them, the famous Lamberti Tower, built in 1172 and raised several times to become the tallest tower in the city. The facade in front of Piazza delle Erbe, where there are several shops, is adorned with large windows and includes elements in neo-classical style, made ​​during the restoration in the nineteenth century. The other facades are made with stone and brick in the typical Romanesque-Veronese style, with round arch windows and a crowning touch to elegant arches in the attic. Particular attention should be paid the first of two arches that connect the building to the Nova Domus: it hangs a large rib that popular tradition would have us believe to be the devil, but in fact belongs to a whale. Remarkable is the interior courtyard, which housed the grains market. It is the best preserved part of the complex, surrounded by an arcade of round arches supported by pillars and rustic ashlar surmounted by an order of three-light windows. In one corner stands the Scala della Ragione, a late-Gothic treasure built in red Verona marble.