ZANCA PALACE AND THE ARCHEOLOGICAL PARK AND THE ANTIQUARIUM

Giacomo ChilléMessina, Messina, Storia e Cultura

ZANCA PALACE AND THE ARCHEOLOGICAL PARK AND THE ANTIQUARIUM

Palace Zanca, the town hall of Messina, was inaugurated on July 26, 1924. The building occupies an area of over twelve thousand square meters. The eclectic style refers to the nineteenth-century classicism. The decorations, all in Comiso stone, were made by Giarrizzo from Palermo and Antonio Bonfiglio from Messina, author of the bronze bust of Antonello da Messina, placed on the landing of the grand staircase.
All exterior decorations are based on trade and commerce tradition of the city, with the depiction of the “Queen of Peloro” inside of the triangle of the facade, with a trident in hand. The two heroines of the Sicilian Vespers of 1282, Dina and Clarenza, were sculpted by Bonfiglio and Sutera. In the “Sala Giunta”, in 1951, was placed the fresco which depicts “The Last Supper”, made by Alfonso Rodriguez in 1617 for the no longer existing church of S. Maria di Gesù Inferiore. In the large interior area of the building, the archeological excavation found a part of the urban arrangement, which is documented in the most ancient historic cartography of Messina in the XVI century. Under the urban settlement of the modern and medieval city, during subsequent investigations, came out building structures belonging to the imperial-late Roman period, that confirm the topographic importance of this area for the urban history of Messina. The Antiquarium stands at the ground floor of Palazzo Zanca and it would be better visiting Antiquarium before the excavations. Inside you can see three small rooms exposing remains of pottery and objects of everyday usage, produced both in Messina and in the Mediterranean basin. They testify how Messina had a key position in the Mediterranean sea thanks to the great activity of its port.

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