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Orvieto Art and monuments - Palazzo Soliano

Known also as the Palazzo di Bonifacio VIII, Palazzo Soliano is believed by some historians to have been erected by order of Pope Boniface VIII. Others think it more likely that the building was erected by the citizens of Orvieto in thanks to this pope, who had lifted a papal interdict on the city along with a hefty fine for the damage Orvieto had inflicted on Acquapendente and castles in Val di Lago. Today the building still belongs to the Church

Palazzo Soliano - Museo Emilio Greco
Palazzo Soliano - Museo Emilio Greco

A broad flight of steps leads up to the building�s vast main chamber, lit by ten gothic windows, which was used as a hall for receiving dignitaries. This floor was built between 1296 and 1297 over the ground floor loggia that had been started under the reign of Urban IV. It is topped by guelph crenellations and adorned with a single row of bifores.

Palazzo Soliano is destined to house the collection of the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, which includes a number of fine works from the Renaissance through to Mannerism and the 19th century. Originally opened in 1822, the museum has been closed since 1989. The collection includes paintings by Giovanno Lanfranco, Girolamo Muziano, Federico Zuccaro, Cesare Nebbia, Pomarancio, as well as a valuable collection of drawings by Ippolito Scalza, and Cesare Nebbia�s plans for the adaptation of the frescoes in the Duomo. The Mannerist sculptures of apostles and saints that adorned the Duomo until they were removed in the 19th century also form part of the collection and include Francesco Mochi�s celebrated Annunciation.

The lower part of the building houses the Museo Emilio Greco, dedicated to Emilio Greco, the artist responsible for the design of the magnificent doors of the cathedral. Some 100 works by Greco are contained here.

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