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Montassù Palace


The original Montassù Palace dates back to the 12th century, and probably it can be included in the primitive Fabrica Mater Ecclesiae considering the proximity of the building to the three monuments overlooking Piazza Duomo: the Cathedral, the Baptistery and the Bishop's Palace.

An important topographical element is the location of the building along the path of one of the waterways* at that time crossing the city of Parma which were functional both to the daily life of the local community, and above all to the commercial activities of that time. The latter include the arrival through the network of canalizations connected to the river Po (still existing and located exactly below the network of alleys in the historic center*) of the supply of the pink marble from Verona necessary for the construction works of what will be a grandiose work of art by Benedetto Antelami: we are talking about the Baptistery.

The subsequent historical vicissitudes and the consequent morphological and architectural transformations undergone by the building remain largely unknown. However, stratifications of stone and brick materials are clearly visible which are indicative of a construction typology and building finishes that tell us a very eventful story, with probable demolitions and massive reconstructions, up to the last major intervention dating back to around 1850.

Although not classified among the noble residences, the building has some construction features that can be traced back to its original intended use which is not exactly popular (e.g. height of the ceilings, presence of cross vaults in the basements and in the rooms on the ground floor, access to the internal courtyard through an imposing door that opens onto the driveway that could have been suitable for access to carriages.) .

The most recent conservative restoration work completed in 2011 has been able to combine the protection of the building's typological and historical characteristics with modern housing needs, especially in terms of plant equipment that is as eco-sustainable as possible.

*Giuseppe Cocconcelli: “Compendio del corso di tutti i canali, canadelle, condotti e scoli sotterranei della Città di Parma”, 1765. Archivio Storico Comunale di Parma.

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