Piazza dei Signori

Square in Padova

Piazza Dei Signori
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Leandro Neumann Ciuffo

Piazza dei Signori is a city square in Padua, region of Veneto, Italy. This piazza for centuries hosted official civic and government celebrations. The historic square was once the living and working headquarters of the rulers (signori) of Padua. They were assigned by the Republic of Venice to which Padua belonged for close to four centuries. The square is dominated by the famous Clock Tower.

The square arose in the fourteenth century with the demolition of an old district that stretched in front of the church of San Clemente, promoted by Ubertino from Carrara. The square was designed to give importance to the tower and access to Palace on the east side, that he was building. It became the scene of tournaments and courtship. According to tradition it was from the noblemen or signori Carrara that the square took its name.

The 14-century war between the Carrara and the Visconti damaged the square and surroundings buildings and is called the period “of Desolation”. The arrival of Venetians rule restored the square as the fifth main civic area: for tournament play, the rides, the battles, the courtship, concerts and music festivals. Initially known as the “Square of Triumphs” and again “Piazza della Signoria”. At parties for the patrons and official visitors the area was designed with the ephemeral architecture. On Shrove Tuesday a bull hunt was held. July 17 was the celebration to commemorate the reconquest of Padua in 1509. On May 9, 1848, the priest Alexander Gavazzi renamed the square, “Piazza Pius IX”, to underscore anti-Austrian sentiment. It became “Piazza Unità d’Italy” after unification (1870) and then returned to the original name in the fascist era.

The medieval square was paved with brick laid in a herring-bone pattern, this was replaced in the eighteenth century by slabs of Euganean trachyte. Until 1785, there was a monumental well at the entrance to the square (now Via Nazario Sauro). It was adorned with marble columns and cannonballs. The well was sealed in 1785 as being unsightly. The real was then used to refine the well of Piazza delle Erbe, the rest was all sold with gain of 50 ducats. The square hosts the morning city market.

The Piazza dei Signori appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Padova!

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Visiting Piazza dei Signori


24 House



Address: Piazza dei Signori, Piazza dei Signori, Padua, Province of Padua, Italy
Duration: 45 minutes

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