CategoryExhibition Space, Photography
Good To KnowOpen until Late
TipThe ticket price includes the use of an audioguide
The Palazzo della Ragione Fotografia in Milan is an exhibition space dedicated entirely to photography. It hosts international exhibitions and installations in an impressive 13th century building.
The Palazzo della Ragione is located at the Piazza dei Mercanti, in what is now a secluded corner of the historic centre of Milan and a pedestrian area only a few steps from the Duomo. Construction of this administrative building, where also merchants, bankers and notaries gathered, started in 1228. Quickly after its completion in 1233, the building became crucial to the economic and political life of the city.
The Palazzo was called delle Ragioni (“of reason”) because here justice was administered to the people by the judges. The symbols of the judges were the rooster and the horse, to the represent alertness and swiftness of justice, and these symbols can still be seen today on the outside walls.
In the 16th century the Palazzo underwent several adaptations and in 1770, by order of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, the architect Francesco Croce equipped the building with an additional floor with large oval windows. The building became the seat of the Notarial Archives, a place where all the papers filed at the notaries of Milan and the province were collected, a function which it retained until 1961.