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Piazza del Quirinale

Piazza del Quirinale - 00187 Rome

Piazza del Quirinale is one of the finest squares of Rome.
On three sides it is surrounded by edifices and on the fourth side
it is open. The fourth side with a balcony (of the support wall
adorned by niches of ancient statues)opens the panorama of the city
with the cupola of
San Pietro.

By side the magnificent façade of the Palazzo della Consulta
rises up. It was put up by Clemente XII (architect Federico Fuga,
1723-34) for the Tribunale della Sacra Consulta. After 1870
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs occupied the building. This Ministry
engaged in the Affairs of Italian Africa. Nowadays it is the seat
of the Constitutianal Court.

The façade being one of the best created by architect Fuga has
two floors with interposed mezzanine devided by parastas and
three rich portals with pediments which are ornated by trophies
and statues (Fil. Valle, 1739). On the top one can find
a coat-of-arms of Clemente XII flanked by winged geniuses
of P.Benaglia.

In the front of the official entrance into
Palazzo del Quirinale
in the center of the square, on the high pedestals one can admire
the colossal statues of the Dioscuri (Castore and Polluce) standing
near their horses. They are roman reelaborations of the imperial age
but originated from Greece and date to the Vth century a.c. After them in
the Middle Ages the quarter dei Cavallitook a name
of Monte Cavallo. Through all the Middle Ages two statues
were turned towards the wide complex of the Constantine
thermal baths which were rising few meters away from here
and belonged to the Baths.

In 1588 Sixtus V restored and removed them from the perspective
of the long Pia street. By this occasion the erroneous inscription
was renewed on the base of the monument with the names of Fidia
and Prassitele considered in the Middle Ages as prophetic philosophers
of the time of Tiberius who ordered them to put up the monument.

Pious VI (1783-1786) ordered to remove the two groups with
the divergent horses towards the Quirinal to free the place
for the obelisk taken away from the Mausoleum of August.
This obelisk reaches with its base 30 meters.

In 1818 Pious VII added here the fountain for which R.Stern
used the big basin of grey granite which was found as
a watering place at the foot of the columns of the Dioscuri temple
in the Forum Romanum.

On the side of the square in front of the palace
the low eighteenth-century building of the papal stables rises up.
It was begun in 1722 by Alessandro Specchi for the pope Innocent XIII
but it was finished only by Federico Fuga in 1731 under Clement XII
and restored by Pious IX.

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