The Palazzo Senatorio (Senatorial Palace), which sits atop the ancient Tabularium (1st century BCE), dates back to the 12th century when it was the seat of the senate of the comune (city council) of Rome. It remains the official seat of Rome's mayor.
In the middle of the 16th century (1547-54), the original medieval building was partly remodelled by Michelangelo (1475-1564), who added the double flight of stairs.
The two ancient statues of the Nile and the Tiber were unearthed in the Baths of Constantine on the Quirinal Hill and placed here in 1518. The latter river-god had started off life as the Tigris, but was given the attributes of the Tiber. Each river-god is bearded and holds a cornucopia (horn of plenty).
The porphyry statue of the goddess Roma (once a statue of Minerva), was added in 1589.
Michelangelo's design was later modified (1582-1605) by Giacomo della Porta (1532-1602) and Girolamo Rainaldi (1570-1655), who provided the facade we see today.
The bell-tower, which is crowned with a statue of Minerva/Roma, was built by Martino Longhi the Elder (1534-91) between 1578 and 1582.
Blogging about Rome:
its art, history and culture.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private and
small-group walking tours
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