Loggia della Mercanzia, Siena
Located on via di Città, the commercial heart of Siena in mediaeval times, la Loggia della Mercanzia was the merchants' entrepôt. It was built in the first half of the 15th century at a transition point in architecture from Gothic to Renaissance styles, as evidenced in the use of rounded arches with vaulted ceilings. The edifice consists of a covered portico behind three arches resting on pilasters with Corinthian capitals. Each pilaster is richly decorated with Gothic motifs that frame statues of saints (four on the façade plus one around the corner), including San Paolo and San Pieter (Ss Paul and Peter), carved by a Sienese sculptor, Lorenzo di Pietro ("il Vecchietta"). The other statues were the work of Antonio Federighi, another Sienese sculptor (who also worked on la Cappella di Piazza). The stunning frescoes of the vaulted ceiling of the portico were painted in the 16th century, and restored in the 19th.
Loggia della Mercanzia, also known as Loggia di San Paolo or Loggia dei Nobili is typical of Sienese architecture from Medieval to Renaissance. It is located at the point known as Croce del Travaglio from where one can reach the all directions of the town.
Loggia was designed between 1417 and 1428 in the Gothic-Renaissance style. In the 17th century the tabernacle was added, placed against the supporting coulmns.
The Loggia dei Mercanti could have been one of the earliest formal venues for a stock exchange. Although seemingly lacking the vast space of today's stock exchanges - it is located in a balcony - what it lacks in space, more than makes up for it in terms of its beautiful arched design with sculptures and interesting frescoes.
This is where merchants used to do their business.
The place was built in the 15th century, according to the design of Sano di Matteo.
The supporting pillars are decorated with statues of saints by Vecchietta and Antonio Federighi.
Walking along Via di Citta, you will surely notice this lovely building. It's an arcade from 1417, where merchants and money changers did their business.