Palazzo Salimbeni

20141004_141452I am sure that everyone that has been in Siena has seen Palazzo Salimbeni. However have you entered and visited this building? You really should !

It is another piece of history in Siena – was built in the 14th century into the walls near the early medieval church of San Donato by expanding an existing castle of the Salimbeni family. The rear of the building shows signs of its most striking medieval building. Of the two original towers it has remained one and it is preserved the original Fondaco Salimbeni.

In 1419 it was confiscated by the Republic of Siena and partly used as a Dogana del Sale and ufficio di Gabella and after also as a seat of il Monte Pio (Monte di Pietà). In 1866 the building was purchased by the bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena and became its seat. The Palazzo Salimbeni faces a square with a statue of the local religious figure Sallustio Bandini.

20141004_140351Do you know that the Monte dei Paschi di Siena Bank is considered the oldest bank in the world? Today is the one of leading banks in Italy, at the head of the group that puts it among the largest financial institutions in terms of market quota.

The Monte was founded in 1472, at the behest of the Republic of Siena. In an ideal senese, it was the heir of the mercantile and banking traditions of medieval Siena, and developed an affective system of credit to the advantage of the local economy. The public character of the bank was confirmed by the reform of 1624. In 1995, by a Ministry of the Treasury decree, the bank became a public company with the name Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena.

What this historical and interesting building has to offer you? It has for sure rich Art collection.
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What is more the collection belonging to the Monte dei Paschi di Siena is the product of layers of history, of commissions and purchases that slowly, over time, took on the shape of an actual collection.
The major expansion of the collection began in the 1980s, when space was specifically set aside and designed for a museum inside the Bank’s historic Palace in Siena.
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The most important are: the fresco of Madonna della Misericordia (Benvenuto di Giovanni); the fresco della Vergine; statues of Santi Bernardino, Caterina of Siena, Antonio and Maria Maddalena (Bernardino Fungai); Madonna con bambino (Giovanni di Paolo); la Rocca Salimbeni e la scala (Pierluigi Spadolini).

20141004_135008It is obvious that you can find here very precious are original documents and archives of the bank. It is like a possibility to ”touch” history. . .

If you are lucky you can enter and get guide tour for free. When ? Every year on first Sutarday of October as well as 2.07 and 16.08 – Palio’s days.

So don’t forget about another must see in Siena – Palazzo Salimbeni when you are in Siena. It is really worth to enter and see!

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