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Palazzo Baglioni

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Palazzo Baglioni is in Piazza della Repubblica, next to the Palazzo Comunale (Town Hall) and originally extended up to Via Seminario Vecchio and Via della Liberazione. It incorporates the pre-existing Rocca Albornoziana, or ‘Rocca Cassero’, which was built in 1358 by the rector of the Duchy of Spoleto, Filippo D’Antella, in the area previously occupied by the Oratorio dei Raccomandati di Santa Maria della Misericordia. The fortress was part of the project to fortify the lands owned by the Church: it was keenly desired by the Pope and entrusted to Cardinal Egidio Albornoz, who started the construction of numerous strongholds in the most important cities, right in the centre of Italy, to centralize and consolidate the power of the Papal State.

With the beginning of the rule of the Baglioni in Spello, the family moved to the city, and thus between 1561 and 1564 Adriano Baglioni had the building modified and turned into a noble residence: based on a project by Battaglia di Pietro and Filippo di Giacomo, changes were made to the appearance of the building and, in particular, the height of the keep was lowered.

Other works followed throughout the 16th and 17th centuries, as the fortress and the palazzo were used as the home of the apostolic governor, then as a prison and finally as the seat of the seminary of San Felice; further interventions followed in the aftermath of the terrible earthquake of 1832. Unfortunately, because of the numerous modifications and conversions, today very little is left of the original complex and the remains are visible both in Via Seminario Vecchio and in Via della Liberazione, while the 16th-century wall that connected the two parts of the structure has been completely lost.

The interior has also undergone modification, but fortunately some frescoes and decorations remain. The most interesting room is certainly that of the Governor, on the ground floor: the ceiling is exquisite, with tiles decorated with geometric-floral motifs and with the griffin, symbol of Perugia, and the walls are frescoed with female figures holding up cross-beams and some views of Valle Umbra. The dating and authorship of the frescoes are not known, but similarities have been found with the cycle in the Sala degli Zuccari in Palazzo Comunale.

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