Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo
Construction works for the Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo (Captain of the People’s Palace) ended in 1282; the building was restored later, in the 16th century when it became the main building hosting the public schools. Battlements in Guelph style were added in 1927.
This three storey building is made of white stone; four grand doorways once hosting shops and salt storage areas give access to the palace. Several Podestà’s coats of arms and the emblem of the Terziere of Santa Maria (one of the three Medieval districts) are walled up on the façade.
Just a few fragments once part of the rich decoration in the halls and in the chapel are left and are now on display at the Pinacoteca Comunale and in several museums abroad. The first floor hosts the main offices and the library of the International Society for Franciscan Studies.
Close to this impressive building stands out the high-rise Torre del Popolo. Dating back to the mid 13th century, this was the residence of the Capitano del Popolo. It has a square plan and is over 47 metres high. Up high, light comes through large single-lancet windows, and at the lower level are small single-lancet windows irregularly placed and a clock.
During the 16th century the building became the headquarter of the Arte dei Notai (Guild for Notaries); the association rebuilt the doorway and its symbols -books, a pen and an inkwell- are in a coat of arms on the archway.
On a stone table at the base of the tower, you can see measurements used in Assisi during 14th century: those for measuring roof tiles and bricks with their profiles, for measuring wool, linen and silk fabrics, as well as for wood.
The “Campana delle Laudi” (Bell of Praise) was placed in the bell tower in the presence of King Victor Emmanuel III, to commemorate the 600th anniversary of the death of Saint Francis.