The City Hall (Palazzo del Municipio) is the dominating building on Trieste's main square Piazza dell'Unita d'Italia.
Like the square, also the City Hall was designed by the Italian architect Giuseppe Bruni. He completed the building in eclectic style in 1875.
The main feature of the City Hall is the clock tower with its two bronze statues called Michez and Jachez.
Trieste’s City Hall can be found on the square Piazza dell'Unita d'Italia. The City Hall faces the sea and stands on the southern side of the square.
Piazza Unità d'Italia ("Italian Unity square") is the main square of Trieste and one of the largest in Europe. It hosts the cultural life of the city and the most important buildings. It was opened with its present dimensions (16,000 square metres) around 1870.
The most important monument is the Palazzo Comunale ("City Hall"), built by Giuseppe Bruni in 1875, with a beautiful clock tower where two bronze statues, that people call Michez and Jachez, mark the hours. A beautiful Italian flag waves at the top of the tower.
Giving your back to the City Hall, you see
- on your right: Palazzo Modello by Giuseppe Bruni (1870); Palazzo Stratti by Antonio Buttazzoni (1839), that hosts the Caffé degli Specchi ("Café of the mirrors") at the groud-floor; at the top of this palace lies a sculptural group by Luigi Zandomeneghi representing an allegory of Trieste's progress; Palazzo del Governo, the Palace of the Government, built in Neo-Renaissance style by Emil Artman in 1905, that hosts the prefect's office today;
- on your left: Palazzo Pitteri in classic style, the only building that wasn't touched during the radical restoration of the area in the 19th century; Palazzo Vanoli, inspired to the French Renaissance, and Palazzo del Lloyd triestino, by Heinrich Ferstel from Wien (1880-84), seat of the most ancient shipping company in the paeninsula, founded in 1830.
All of these buildings are very decorated.
The square was renewed between 1999 and 2001 on a project by French architect Bernard Huet and now it is illuminated at night with blue lights.
Trieste is the city with many neoclassical buildings. It has had a long history with many changes of ownership. A long time lasting influence of Austria is seen in many of palaces.
See the decoration on one of the palaces in Unita's square.
The 'thing to do' here is really just admire and relax. This is a grand and magnificent square, one of the largest around. It is similar in size to San Marco in Venice and the locals brag that it is better because it opens onto the sea. I am sure there are some sights in these magnificent buildings, but we just enjoyed the square and what I call a "most civilized glass of wine." Before coming to Trieste I had read a novel by Michael Pearce: "A Dead Man in Trieste" in which the main character is investigating the death of the British counsul. It seems this counsel was rarely in his office but conducted business and held court on this square at the Caffe degli Specchi. This name translates into the "Cafe of Mirrors and when I went in to find the toilet there were mirrors everywhere, even on the doors to the men's and ladies'. So the Cafe of Mirrors is where we went and had the wonderful "happy hour" pick me up in the photo. We just ordered wine (Terrano which is the local wine region) but were served chips, olives, cheesy crisps, quiches and toasts.
The piazza is surrounded by magnificent baroque architecture and centered by the Fountain of the Four Continents. Go late in the day and watch the sun descend over the Adriatic. Have a glass of Terrano. Watch the people. This is probably the heart and soul of Trieste.
Piazza d'Unita is one of the biggest squares in Triest. It is located close to the shore and encircled by imposing palaces.
On the photo you can see a palace which houses the goverment of the region.
My favorite memory of Trieste, that doesn't have to do with Banjo and friends, was being in Piazza Unita d'Italia at night. At the waters edge of the piazza are posts with blue lights that make the piazza as beautiful as any I've been in.
Also along the ground are little blue lights that run the length of the square, making you hope that airplanes don't mistake it for a runway!
The Town Hall and the seat of the Friuli Region Government is situated in the central position of the Piazza Unita d'Italia. It is fine and beautifuly designed palace with the arcades in the ground floor and the town clock on its rooftop.
This view shows the architectural details of the palace that now houses the Trieste government offices. The quality of the stone masonary work is evident. Liberal use of granite and marble was made in its construction. Gilded copper inlaid mosaics like those you see here adorn the entire outside walls of this enormous palace. The choice of ceramics and color help make the palace exterior a visual treat.
The five palaces bordering Piazza Unita combine to form one of the best consolidated collections of architecture anywhere.
As I said before, the square is full of sculptures. There are a statue of Karl VI and the Fontana dei Quattro Continenti ("Fountain of the Four Continents") built by Francesco Mazzoleni in 1751, when Cook still hadn't discovered Oceania.
Furthermore, the buildings have many sculptures, especially Palazzo Stratti with an allegory of the progress and Palazzo del Lloyd triestino, with statues of Thetis (on the left) and Venus (on the right) respectively by Josef Pokorny and Ugo Härdtl. Originally, they were part of two fountains.
Palazzo del Governo as the name implies, is the palace that houses the government offices of Trieste ( the Italianos don't believe in big government do they ? ). This exquisite palace with its neo-classical architecture by E. Hartmann was built in 1905. It is the largest palace adjoining the large and beautiful Piazza Unita. My next tip shows details of the exterior and the mosaics.
The four palaces were all built while Trieste was the most important and busiest sea port in the vast Habsburg empire. I don't know if this palace always housed the government offices or was originally the headquarters of one of Trieste's thriving industries.
This elegant palace was designed by architect Guiseppe Bruni, incorporating Renaissance, Baroque, and mannerist architectural elements. The palace dates to 1875. As with all five palaces now adjoining the piazza, the architectural detail and quality of craftsmanship are excellent.
The fountain pictured in front of the palace is a great work of art called the Fountain of the Four Continents. Do not concern yourselves that our great planet actually contains seven continents.
The banner that was temporarily hung on the palace announces the then upcoming celebration commemorating the 50 year anniversary of Trieste being returned to Italy in 1954. This great city had previously been bounced around from one country or empire to another. The jokes regarding these territorial exchanges are legendary ( who owns Trieste this week ? ). In the foreground you can see the stage that was being set up for the big oom pah pah celebration.
Piazza Unita d'Italia is the in the record book for being the largest piazza in all of Europe. The fact that it opens up to the sea only enhances its beauty. The buildings surrounding it house the political officials of the city, and are works of art themselves. Unless it is a festival, the piazza is always swept clean be the wind that comes in off the water. Truly one of the most beautiful piazza's in Italy.
The Lloyd Triestino palace is another of the magnificent and enormous palaces built on Piazza Unita from the period of about 1870 - 1890. I believe that Giuseppi Bruni was the architect that designed this masterpiece. The architectural style is neo classical or neo renaissance. The roof balcony of the palace is adorned by fascinating statues of Roman gods and heroes. The statue on your far right is that of Neptune.
Part of this palace now houses a museum, and many of the elegant rooms are often open to the public. Look at the people walking in front of the palace to give yourselves an idea of how large it is.
Located in the Piazza Unita d'Italia is a large fountain. IT is a beautiful work of art that really enhances the entire square. It is best viewed at night as the lighting is really excellent, though pictures of it don't come out so well....
It is known in Italian as: "Fontana dei Quattro
The Piazza Unita d'Italia is the main square of Trieste and a beautiful example of Austro-Hungarian architecture. The Piazza sits along the waterfront and offers interesting views of the Adriatic. The Piazza's other three sides are lined with buildings from the 1700s and 1800s, including the city hall, with its famous clock tower, and the Duca d'Aosta hotel, which features Harry's Bar. There are a number of outdoor cafes around the Piazza, which make for a great place to take a break and watch the world go by.