Bergamo, Palazzo della Ragione
Located on the southern side of the Piazza Vecchia, the Palazzo Comunale, (Municipality) or Palazzo della Ragione still maintains its ancient Medieval structure.
The façade, which originally faced the adjacent Piazza del Duomo, from the 15th century was turned, as it appears today, towards the Piazza Vecchia, an interesting sign of the historical passage from a civilization in which civil and religious powers recognized each other, to a social organization that wants these powers separate and distinct. The Leone di San Marco (Lion of Saint Mark) embedded in the façade testifies the very close ties that bound Bergamo to Venice (from 1428, for almost four centuries, Bergamo shared the fate of the Venetian Republic). The lateral stairway was added in the 14th century and leads to the grand Sala delle capriate, a hall designed by the architect Pietro Isabello (artist of the 16th century who was very active in Bergamo and surroundings), representing a rather daring achievement, for the know how of those times. In the hall, numerous frescoes deriving from other buildings of the city are located. Among others, the fragments of frescoes of Bramante are very interesting, representing ancient philosophers, that decorated the Palazzo del Podestà.
Sala delle capriate can be visited during exhibitions.