Numerous fragments of different architectural styles present in the structure of the City Hall Palace tell the long and complex story of the building. The structure includes part of the entrance wall of the town, and is the base of the bell tower, the oldest part of the building. The first mention of the construction states that it was erected at the end of the 15th century.
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RENZI - DORIA PALACE (CITY HALL PALACE)
Numerous fragments of different architectural styles present in the structure of the City Hall Palace tell the long and complex story of the building. The structure includes part of the entrance wall of the town, and is the base of the bell tower, the oldest part of the building. The first mention of the construction states that it was erected at the end of the 15th century. On May 11, 1488, and then on September 15 of that same year, craftsmen were nominated to take on the task of building the new palace. Later, in the 17th century, the building underwent restoration. These changes are documented by an inscription made in the architrave of the door of the Council Chamber, next to a window overlooking the square. In 1873, Prince Andrea Doria Pamijli was the owner of large estates in the Montefiascone area, and is the namesake for the City Hall, Palazzo Doria. In more recent times, the ancient building was connected to a smaller, adjacent building, which was owned by the Renzi family.
In the lobby of the Palazzo, above the front door, you can see a bas-relief from the 13th-14th centuries depicting San Flaviano, who was, at that time, the principal protector of the community. The bas-relief has the following inscription: S. FLAVIANUS PROTECTOR N.R. (SAN FLAVIANO OUR PROTECTOR). The most important room of the Palace is the Council Chamber, which is distinguished from the other by a coffered ceiling and traces of decorative frescoes. The wooden crucifix, which dates back to the 17th century, is currently located at the back wall of the room, and was a gift from Clergy of Montefiascone. In the mayor’s room, there is a painting depicting The Madonna with Baby. Among the furnishings of the palace, two inscriptions from Roman times can be found. One of these is located along the border of the city. The other was a medieval epigraph chiseled on a Roman architectural fragment. On top of the clock tower, there are two bells; the smaller one was forged in 1805, by the Viterbese metal caster, Luigi Belli. It was most likely made for the adjacent church, Sant’Andrea, not for its current location. The other, larger bell is in very poor shape. Because of this, not much information is available about its origins. Legend has it that this bell was part of the bell tower in the ancient city of Ferento. It is said that it was stolen when the Viterbese destroyed it in 1172.
Renzi – Doria Palace (City Hall Palace)
Translation by Lauren Williamson, Texas A&M University, currently enrolled in the USAC Viterbo program at Università degli Studi della Tuscia.
G. Breccola – M. Mari, Montefiascone, Grotte di Castro 1979.
G. Breccola, Montefiascone. Guida alla scoperta, Montefiascone 2006.
F. Petrone, Opus Belli Viterbiensis. Storia e attività di una famiglia di “campanari”, Roma 2010.