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Palazzo dell’Università Vecchia

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Palazzo dell’Università Vecchia (Old University Palace) is located on the east side of Piazza Matteotti, formerly Piazza Sopramuro, adjacent to Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo.

Designed by Gasperino di Antonio and Bartolomeo Mattioli da Torgiano in the XV century, its ground floor initially housed the hospital of Santa Maria della Misericordia – which commissioned it – whose monogram is supported by two griffins above the door that overlooks the square.

The first floor was built upon Pope Sixtus IV’s request who made it the seat of the Studium Generale Civitatis Perusii – the university of Perugia – built in 1266 it is the second oldest university in Italy after the one in Bologna.  It served as its headquarters until 1811.

The building also housed the first Mount of Piety in Italy established in 1462.

It was never completed in full – as it can be noted looking at the facade – but its decorations are still remarkable, such as the lattice windows at the first floor, whose architraves are enriched by some engraved inscriptions from the Gosple of Saint Matthew. Another beautiful specimen is the main door, guarded by a number of Perugian griffins.

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