This palazzo that once belonged to the Fabroni family now provides some prestigious and rather extraordinary exhibition spaces for contemporary art in Pistoia. For several years exhibitions have been held in the rooms on the upper floors that have been restored for this purpose; the center promotes the most advanced avangard expressions and some of the greatest visual artists in Italy have shown here. These shows have contributed to the permanent collection of contemporary art that is displayed on the third floor of the building.
The first documentation of the palazzo goes back to the mid fourteenth century when il palagio, as the palazzi were called in Medieval times, consisted of a tower-house belonging to the Dondori family of Pistoia and it was of much more modest dimensions than the present building.
Bought by the Fabroni family in the early seventeenth century the original construction was radically redone. The new owners bought up the old neighboring houses and these, together with the tower, formed the main body of the building once the works to enlarge the palazzo were completed. Remnants of the Medieval houses can be seen in some of the stone and brick construction that has been uncovered during recent restoration.
The front that faces the Romanesque church of Sant'Andrea runs in a curved line in keeping with the cannons of Florentine Mannerism as it was reinterpreted in the 1700s. Three different kinds of windows are overhung by three different kinds of architectural decorations: triangular on the first floor, a low arch on the second floor and a high, interrupted arch on the top floor. The doorway which was redone at the beginning of the i 900s is topped by an interrupted arch; at its center we see the large coat of arms of the Fabroni family: three hammers on a diagonal stripe.
Cardinal Carlo Agostino Fabroni was born in this palazzo in the mid 1600s and the family continued living here until the mid nineteenth century when, after the death of the last descendent, the building was bought by the City of Pistoia. For many years it served inappropriate functions: it was the seat of the Sub-Prefecture and during the Fascist period it served as the headquarters of the Pistoian federation Fascist party; after the last World War, for almost twenty years it was used as a school.
Since its restoration, the building has been used in part as a prestigious exhibition space and in part for city administration offices.
For further informations:
Tel: +39 0573371839
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Comune di Pistoia