Wonder  }  Architecture

Palace of Reason

A symbol of the Upper City in Bergamo.

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Where is


Piazza Vecchia, 8A, 24129 Bergamo BG, Italia (0m s.l.m.)


What it is and where it is

Palazzo della Ragione is a beautiful medieval building graces Piazza Vecchia in Bergamo's Upper Town. Its features leave no room for doubt; it is a beautiful example of medieval architecture. The loggia below and the elegant covered staircase seem to invite us to enter, to discover the interiors that often host important art exhibitions. Nearby we also find the Angelo Mai Civic Library, the Palazzo del Podestà and the characteristic Campanone.

Why it is special

This palace has always been fundamental in the history of Bergamo and is able to attract everyone's gaze thanks to its aesthetic beauty, which also manifests itself in its interior. Wonderful frescoes from the period when it assumed the role of a court of law are preserved here. We also find Romanesque capitals on the south side of the Palace, dating back to the 15th century.

Not to be missed

In the Palace's loggia is the most interesting surprise: lowering your gaze to the marble flooring you will find a gnomon, a sundial. Built in 1798, it still accurately marks noon and the date, thanks to the sun's rays hitting the sundial. It is also possible to access the second floor via a staircase that flanks the Campanone, which leads to the hall where justice was administered in the past and where today the famous Hall of the Vaults is located. And it is here that numerous works of art are preserved and wonderful exhibitions are hosted.

A bit of history

Its construction dates back about a thousand years (between 1183 and 1198): at first it represented one of the main municipal palaces in Italy and hosted the public assemblies of the city of Bergamo. Over the years, the palace has been damaged and renovated several times: this led it to take on different functions each time, including library, theater and court. In 1296 the building was hit by fire, while over the years it was the subject of numerous alterations to coincide with changes in the squares surrounding it.


Its name derives from the rule of the Venetians over Bergamo, who used this place as the seat of the court: judges made their choices precisely using "reason," which is why this building takes on that name.

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