Arengario di Monza, guide to the discovery of the ancient town hall

The Arengario of Monza is one of the symbolic places of the city. Formerly the seat of the town hall, the medieval town hall now hosts important art exhibitions and events. A short guide to learn more about its structure and history.

The Arengario di Monza , located in the heart of the historic center , is one of the symbolic monuments of the city of Brianza and deserves to be included among the tourist points of interest. And its history also deserves to be known, albeit briefly. In fact, the events that over time have transformed and shaped the old town hall of Monza , now home to important exhibitions, tell a lot about the medieval history of Italy.

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A brief history of the Arengario: why it is called that and what it was used for

As in any self-respecting story, however, it is good to start from the beginning, that is, from the construction of the Arengario . According to the most accredited reconstructions (which must be trusted in the absence of certain data), the construction of the famous palace began towards the end of 1200 . A dating that seems to be confirmed also by an inscription above the entrance door, which refers to the year 1293 (expressed in Roman numerals). The then powerful mayor of Monza, Pietro Visconti , wanted the birth of the Arengario. But why did he build it? What was the Arengario used for? The triggering reason was the contrast between the power of the podestà and that of the church . Until the 13th century, in fact, the magistrates and the podestà used the curtain of the Cathedral for their activities, as they did not have a civil building that could house them. In 1250, however, the mayor was struck by excommunication and his stay near the main religious building in Monza became unwelcome. A confirmation of this struggle between civil power and religious power also comes from the place where the Arengario is located, a few steps from the Duomo, which it is also physically opposed to. At this point, however, it is legitimate to ask why the name of Arengario was chosen for the new town hall . What does this term mean? It is a word borrowed from the German, which means “ meeting place ”, to signal the fundamental function carried out by the building, seat of the municipality, the court and the merchants.

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Structure and characteristics of the Palazzo Comunale of Monza

From the point of view of the structure and style, the Arengario is clearly inspired by the Palazzo della Ragione in Milan , built in the first half of the 1200s. The overall layout is longitudinal, with an open porch on the lower floor and a large covered room on the upper floor. Unlike the Milanese building, however, the town hall of Monza is flanked by an imposing bell tower . Furthermore, it should be noted that the current appearance of the Arengario does not correspond to its original state. In fact, between the end of the 1800s and the beginning of the 1900s, major renovations were planned and carried out, with a consequent reduction in the spaces of the complex, which previously also included the Palazzo Pretorio (demolished). A second massive restoration took place at the end of the 1960s, with the aim of supporting the exhibition vocation of the Arengario.

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The exhibitions of the Arengario

Not surprisingly, today the ancient municipal building in Brianza is home to very important art exhibitions and events organized by the municipal administration. The permanent collections that it previously housed, on the other hand, have been transferred to the Civic Museums. To find out about the exhibitions in the Arengario in real time, you can consult the website of the Municipality of Monza .

Visit the Arengario: contacts, where it is, how to reach it

As anticipated, the Arengario is located in the historic center, precisely in Piazza Roma . It is therefore easily reachable on foot from any of the other tourist sites ( Monza Cathedral and its Museum , Villa Reale , Monza Park ). The structure is open to the public every day, except Mondays, from 10am to 1pm and from 2pm to 7pm . For information, please call 039 329541 .

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The original contents of this article are produced by an external service without any involvement of the press office of the Autodromo Nazionale Monza.