Palace Fongoli Barnabò


Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali
Superintendence for Architectural, Landscape, Historical, Artistic and Ethno-Anthropological Heritage of Umbria.
Subject: Foligno (PG) - Fongoli Palace (Old Palace Barnabò) by way of Palazzaccio No. 18 owned by Angelo Fongoli (NCT, 202 sheet, particles No. 204-205)



The building in question, the first half of the nineteenth century, nearly continuously owned by the family Fongoli original Uppello (small fraction of Foligno), is located in the center of Foligno between Via della Rosa and Via del Palazzaccio, where is the monumental main entrance (figg.nn, 1-2-3).
The building is located in a very important part of the city from the urban point of view: it lies between two narrow streets perpendicular to the path of Mora (now Via Mazzini), one of the principal axes of the medieval city. Via della Rosa and just in the way of Palazzaccio lead into the square in front of the church and the convent of San Francesco, built from about half of the thirteenth century on the ruins of an ancient "Imperial Palace", the local residence of the emperors in Germanic From the eleventh century or so, and the primitive city gate of St. Matthew.
The building that separates the building from the square of St. Francis Fongoli is being radically transformed early '900, the architect of the project. Armani to use it after the Paris Chamber of Commerce and, later, became the seat of the District Court Section of Foligno, and today the Court of Perugia.
The building is therefore closed Fongoli between the building and another of the Court of civilian housing: prospects remain free to overlook because of Palazzaccio (main elevation) and Via della Rosa, with their respective inputs. The type and design of the building and decorative suggest that the building was constructed, renovated or perhaps only, from the end of the fifteenth century or so, however, transforming and incorporating some medieval existing housing units, made of stone, well finished, clearly show how the remains of a beautiful masonry and an arch support is still present in one of the rooms on the ground floor and in precise correspondence to the base of the facade overlooking the Rose cia (figs. nos. 4-5).
Between the end of the fifteenth century and throughout the sixteenth century Foligno there is a significant development of agricultural activities, encouraged by the reclamation of the marshland, and craft and merchant ships. All this gives rise to considerable economic wealth and the consequent rise, with the oldest feudal nobility, a new emerging middle class, especially dedicated to the merchant, who, possessing a substantial working capital, commissions new works of art and finance the transformation of the old medieval buildings in larger, representative buildings comfortable and placing them, generally, along the main shopping streets and squares. They are still the exception, some buildings, such as building Fongoli, ahead instead of local roads, but still near the commercial hubs.
The typological of our residence is characteristic of the Renaissance palaces of the late sixteenth century or the very first in a long hallway that leads turned around a central courtyard (fig. No 6-7-8), in this case a rectangular shape, of overlooked by a gallery with a double order, supported by brick pillars with limestone bases and moldings, and where he was, until World War century wing, the true original octagonal limestone and travertine from the well, unfortunately now replaced by division heritable.


In the courtyard are also still held the bowl of hammered stone wall round a fountain, probably of the sixteenth century, a number of architectural fragments and erratic in part laid on the ground, walled in part already in the past on the walls: these pipes terracotta tile, capitals, columns, cornices, window sills, the
coats of arms of the family of the alleged trademark of the manufacturer of the building, symbolizing the ancient "flower of life", of different ages (most likely dating from the twelfth and the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries), which probably is the tangible result of some restoration and restructuring events at different times (Figs. nos. 9-10-11-12-13-14-15).
The building from the ground rather than old, was with the passing of time in some parts restored and decorated back, also in relation to periodic earthquakes that have struck the city and the development of family and work activities of the owners, especially in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, as they seem to show the dates of 1622 and 17 .... Find engraved (and documented by photographs) in the original plasterwork discovered during the recent consolidation works produced after the 1997 earthquake.
The building looks like a block of regular shape which is spread over three floors, the last of which consists of a raised, built between the late seventeenth century and the first half of the eighteenth century about using lightweight roof tiles and beams and rafters of wood: interesting in this regard the finding raised the roof in the attic on the third floor of a pair of slippers bearing shown in red letters and numbers, drawn with a hand due to other confirmation of the historical data, always same period (figg.nn.16-17). In addition to the three floors in the building elevation includes a large basement room with a massive brick barrel vault (figg.nn. 18-19-20) almost as long as the entire complex and time is used as a cellar for preserving food for storage of firewood and charcoal.
The main facade is divided into three parts by stringcourses in beautiful limestone: in the lowest you will find the main entrance door lintel and jambs of stone simply but elegantly finished and on the sides of the ground floor windows and those that provide light from above to the premises of the underground cellar (figg.nn.21-22).
They have performed very well grates original, all made of wrought iron crosses and rings to passersby. The first and second floor windows overlooking five arranged in a regular way. Both frames marciapiano exhibitions of both windows are made of stone finely molded.
From the front door is accessed through a stone doorway with guides for wagons, of the hall, covered by a barrel vault, leading to the courtyard and extends up the side entrance in Via della Rosa.
In the courtyard is open to different inputs relevant premises once used as stables, to remittances, to the workplace and private administration: all of these areas are covered by cross vaults or unghiature.
Of singular interest is a rather large compartment and long (-figg.nn.23 24-25), characterized by the presence of a fireplace (which remain the original marble corbels supporting the entablature).
At the center of a brick pillar supporting two arches more and bricks, which in turn divide the space into two zones: the first covering two vaults and the second of four small vaults but much less pronounced, so to create the feeling of almost once a unghiature, both of these bricks were made at times. The corbels supporting the vaults of one of the two rooms are decorated with exquisite and elegant capitals (fig. nos. 26-27-28), on which were carved and engraved, as well as geometric and phytomorphic, respectively, the coat of arms ( is blue with three gold bands topped by a helmet is half ending in ox fell nobly in the Gottico like a coat), and the brand of the commodity owners, absolutely one of the most important city of Foligno: Barnabò that of the Marquis, whose origin and history will tell you later.
This compartment, in which the family performed his daily activities and important merchant (but it was not possible to determine exactly what they were: trade in textiles? Trade in agricultural products? The levying of taxes or do all of these together), had a clear function of representation and exposition of the pre-eminent social role played by the family in the city Barnabò, given the insistence in the representation of the emblem and brand merchant.
From the courtyard through an opening now closed, access was gained to the scale below, partly excavated in the rocky terrain, which descends to the basement, where there is a cistern for collecting rainwater and vein and the cellar in which reference was made just above, great room with a barrel vault and lunette windows at the four external and one overlooking the courtyard with a slide opening and grateful for the grapes. A slightly higher level of the cellar is a small room with niches in the walls used to preserve food. (Figs. 18,19,20).
The stairwell is covered by a small barrel-vaulted plaster and is defined by a simple molding terracotta inserted at the tax, the steps are made of local stone and backsplashes have an original ornamentation with rectangular mirrors (Figs . No. 29-30), which is now flattened since it is covered by a dark brown paint.
On the first and second floor meeting rooms with ceilings of wooden beams, stone fireplaces and carved doors mostly dating to the eighteenth century (figs. No. 31-32): always on the first floor, especially on the long side of the courtyard, some rooms are quite spacious with vaulted roof and to unghiature, which perhaps should have been originally decorated with frescoes. Following the restoration of the paintings have been discovered over just twice.
In the first, wider (figs. No. 33-34-35) at the center of the rectangular mirror appears, set in a lightweight frame with stucco ornaments between two pictures in which are represented two vessels from which protrude two scrolls of acanthus, a great figure of St. Onofrio penitent in the desert surrounded by four angels, who meditates on the passion of Christ, showing the body very aged and emaciated because of hardship. The work dates from the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century, was due to a naive, but probably the local communicative artist, who has succeeded here, with a few light strokes, bright colors and clear and delicate chiaroscuro, well expressing that devotion to St. Barnabas had Onofrio: Some members of this large family brought it to his holy name. Also s. Onofrio from Foligno was considered the protector of another important noble family: that of Onofri. Since between Barnabas and Onofri in about two and a half centuries have each occurred between sons and daughters, six marriages, it is legitimate to assume that the choice of this holy image would also be a nice tribute to the Onofri, more time with family just imparentatesi Barnabo.
In the second time surviving (figs. No. 36-37), always at the center of the mirror appears rectangular but the sacrifice of Isaac, probably built at the same time and by the same hand of s. Onofrio. The scene is set in a simple decorative frame made of stucco just slightly protruding. The chosen subject, alluding to the love and familial love exalting filiare, requires the presence of other scenes of the same meaning: in other words, it seems plausible to hypothesize on the vaults of the ancient palace Barnabò perhaps the presence of a cycle under the thrilling family , given the high number of children that the family usually had at various times, or other biblical scenes always linked to the figure of Abraham.
The family Barnabò is one of the oldest and noblest families in the city of Foligno, and probably comes from the accounts of Uppello, which also derive the Trinci. The first mention of an ancestor, Barnabas (Barnabovis) precisely, we have since 1222, the cards from the Abbey of Sassovivo over the centuries and from this develop at least three major branches of the family. Since 1460 there are numerous documentary references to individual members, as was usual, bore names that are repeated (Barnabo, Michelangelo, Onofrio, Vincent, Alexander, Ugolino, Piermarini) and stand out in particular in government and military, both in Rome and in Foligno, and also in the ecclesiastical career: one of them (Alexander VI) in 1856 but will become a cardinal and other clients of various works of art created for the Cathedral of St. Feliciano and for the church of St. Francis, where he was since 1377 their domestic funerary chapel.
In the second half of the fifteenth century, assumed a prominent position Barnabò Michelangelo II, son of Onofrio, who was repeatedly elected municipal judge in 1461 and bought in the town of Foligno two pugilli sodiccia of land in the district of Mora below his house on one side the other the square S. Francis, the other the public road at a cost of 12 florins, it seems likely that it is precisely the area where the purchase document soon to be built the new palace Barnabò (Fongoli hours), the result of restructuring and expansion of the original house Barnabo. Michelangelo in particular had two sons, Onofrio II and III Barnabò (1536), which presumably help the father in the reconstruction of the family home or, if he was already dead, they are directly responsible. The first and original arrangement must have been sufficient for the needs of the family for several years. But, as has been mentioned, with the increasing number of members of the family, with varying needs and perhaps the damage brought by the earthquake, at some point have had to make the architectural changes that have been discussed first. A great-grandson of Barnabas III, The Ugolino (1551-1590) will be established in the palace in Piazza Matteotti place: the magnificent portal, camping under the clear coat of arms his initials UG BA Merchant and beside the mark, the same that we find in the ground floor of our building.
About two centuries later, in 1743 there are four families in Foligno Barnabò staying in four different buildings of the city gradually acquired, all still exist, including the one in question, therefore, would seem to be the oldest: Barnabò palace near Piazza S .
Francis, Barnabò palace in Piazza Matteotti, Palazzo Barnabò to Conce, Barnabò palace in Piazza XX Settembre. Also obtained in 1751 by Pope Benedict XIV Barnabò the title of Marquis. But by the middle of the nineteenth century three of these families Barnabò extinguished completely and remains alive only branch Piermario VII, a descendant of Barnabò III.
The palace near Piazza S. Barnabò Francis is likely to be sold just because of these circumstances the family Calvani, from which it buys Simon Fongoli. The latter's son, Angelo, inherits the former mansion Barnabò, and marrying Mary Magdalene Biducci, becomes the owner shortly after the mid-nineteenth century, even the building adjacent to the former Barnabas and the building opposite.
For the fact that it was always used as a private residence, the palace complex has Fongoli former Barnabò remained remarkably intact in its original architectural features and for the same reason it is unpublished and not designed by local historians and enthusiasts alike. It reflects an important part of the history of Foligno, being located in an area very significant for the early medieval town planning, and being almost certainly the first building in the city Barnabò, what might be considered closer to the church considered the family, the church of S. Francis. We should not forget that the original facade of this Church stood out in their own ancient noble crest of Barnabas. The identification of the building represents a significant first step in the reconstruction of a particular time but little known history of local architecture.

© Azienda Fongoli Soc. Agr. s.s. - P.IVA 02351360546
facebook twitter youtube