Tarchna, Corneto, Tarquinia

The palace was constructed between 1436 and 1439 and commissioned by Cardinal G. Vitelleschi.

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It was partially built upon a pre-existing structure and designed by two different architects. It is currently under the jurisdiction of the Italian Republic and has housed the National Archaeological Museum since 1924. The facade of the Palace is decorated with architectural elements from both the Gothic and Renaissance periods, attesting to the work of two different architects as well as to the gradual passage from one style to the other ,which was particularly accentuated in those precise years of construction. The Renaissance style is represented on the left side of the facade as seen in the portal which is surmounted by a triangular tympanum (the ornamental space enclosed by the triangular pediment) upon which the family coat of arms is placed. However, the pair of double-lancet windows in the central portion and the three triple-lancet windows on the right-hand side represent the Gothic influence. In the retreating space behind the facade on the left-hand side lies an octagonal well dating back to 1459 which had previously been situated outside the town hall (Palazzo Comunale). The walls of the well are adorned with bass or low relief renderings of the Patron Saints of the city ( S. Lituardo, S. Pantaleone, S. Secondiano, S. Margherita and S. Teofanio) as well as the coat of arms of the city, the Vitelleschi family and Pope Pius II Piccolomini. In addition, there is an epigraph which records the names of the Consul or magistrates as well as the Gonfalonier or chief city magistrate with a dedication commemorating the construction of the well. To the right of the palace stands a bronze sculpture of a female figure which was created by the famous 19th century sculptor, E. Greco in remembrance of the Tarquinian poet, V. Cardarelli. Behind the palace in Piazza Soderini the first floor windows are easily visible. They are rectangular and represent the novelty of the Renaissance style while the double-lancet windows on the second floor reflect the Gothic motif. Furthermore, the protruding apse walls of the palace chapel can be easily seen as the chapel is situated on the first floor.

The chapel and the Cardinal’s antechamber or waiting hall have recently been restored.

Culture, History and Heritage

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THE ETRUSCANS

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TARQUINIA, A LITERARY PLACE

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