Palazzo Vecchio

Palazzo Vecchio

Date begun 1298

Movement Proto-Renaissance

Located at Piazza della Signoria, Florence

 

This structure was built as the town hall of Florence by the pro-papal Guelphs to express civic power over the wealthy merchant families. Thick stone walls, a lack of windows and the use of rusticated stones toward the bottom and battlements atop help to impose a grand sense of power and security. The vast tower is off-center for two reasons: it was built atop a pre-existing tower with the same foundations, and it is significantly easier to see from street-level.