There is no exact date of the construction of the Palace of Podesta of Borgo San Lorenzo, regardered not long after the year 1290, considering its location near the parish church of Borgo San Lorenzo and the old feudal court.
A report by architect Pietro Bertorelli anticipates the construction in the first half of the 13th century on the basis of an inscription on a coat of arms on the facade. Even before the earthquake compromised stability, the building was damaged.
Today the building houses the Municipal Library.
In 1926 Pietro Bertorelli designed the reconstruction of the Palace of Podesta of Borgo San Lorenzo because it had been completely destroyed by the 1919 earthquake. The Bertorelli’s project was rejected and the reconstruction suffered considerable delays.
Finally, thanks to the intervention of Italian Marshal Guglielmo Pecori Giraldi (who, as president of the Cassa di Risparmio in Florence, also donates money to find a venue for the establishment of the First Army Army Museum, which it was the commander of the Great War) began in 1934 under the direction of the engineer Augusto Lorini and ended in 1937. Below are the images of Pietro Bertorelli’s project preserved in the municipal archive.
Description of Palace of Podesta of Borgo San Lorenzo
Even after the renovation, the structure of the building remains quadrangular, with hut cover, strong perimeter bastions and internal vaults. All the rooms on the first floor are completely remodeled on the east side of the ground floor and there is a chapel dedicated to Saint Francis (with an altar and a chalk statue of the saint) that is directly facing the square through a wrought iron portal.
The restoration assistant, Dino Chini, performs in the entrance hall the geometric decoration of the hoof and the slits of the openings. On the walls and in the ceiling restores or repaint the podesterial coats of arms interpreting medieval or Renaissance style. Here are also the stone or ceramic coats of arms that did not enter the facade. On the west side of the wall, where the staircase begins, there is a large wall painting of Florentine school depicting the Madonna and Child among the saints Lorenzo and Giovanni Battista commissioned in 1547 by Carlo Alessandro Altoviti.
The chapel of San Francesco, restored in 1998, houses many molten stone coats of arms, an altomedial sandstone sarcophagus and a robbian lunette representing a Christ the Savior between two angels.
On the facade of the palace, completely rebuilt, other gentlemen’s coats of arms and commemorative plaques are placed.