/ / Piazza Mercatale: photo description (Piazza Mercatale)

Piazza Mercatale: photo description (Piazza Mercatale)

Piazza Mercatale - the biggest square of the Tuscan city of Prato, around which there are a number of monuments of history and culture. In ancient times in place of the current square stretched a green meadow, cut by canals of the river Bisenzio. Its development began only in the 12th century when there was built a bridge Cittadino, connecting the river with the city gates of the port of Teci. Soon the once green meadow had become a brisk trading place, and since 1239, the year it began to hold the fair, tied to one of the key events in the life of Prato - the annual placing of the Belt of the virgin, which drew thousands of pilgrims. From 1286, the year in place of the meadows was organized by the permanent municipal market.

In the late 12th - early 13th centuries, the territory of Mercatale was included in the municipality of Prato and surrounded by a city wall, and in the 14th century the square acquired its current borders. In the mid-16th century by order of Cosimo de ' Medici Sdes was built Bastion facing the river Bisenzio, to protect Prato. Later, between the Bastion and the Church of Santa Maria del Giglio new houses were built Nuove case - it was the first attempt to make Mercatale urban look. Another block of residential buildings, adjacent to case Nuove on the North side, construction began in the 18th century, but was not completed until the end. Instead, in 1783, the year the square was demolished and handicraft shops, which was moved to the East side, in a place called Grembiule. This was done in the course of the project on reconstruction of the square, when at the Piazza Mercatale also has a green space with stone benches.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the green space on the square was updated, there was a small Park that divided the area into two parts. In 1930-m to year, after the decision on the construction of a new railway station in Prato, in Piazza Mercatale began the construction of Casa del Fashio according to the project of the Florentine architect Chiaramonti Brunette, which included partial demolition of the old city walls to open a review on the Bisenzio. Then was renovated Porta Mercatale and restored antique wall behind the Casa del Fashio with the return of her ancient battlements.

During the Second World war, the area, like most of Prato, was subjected to multiple bombings, in which many of the monuments of history and architecture, including the house of the painter Filippino Lippi with his "Madonna and child with saints", was completely destroyed. Was also demolished the old shops, warehouses with characteristic arcades and the many houses, the Ponte al Mercatale and the Church and convent of San Bartolomeo. The bridge was rebuilt in 1946-m to year on medieval drawings, and the Church in 1958, not retaining the original appearance. In the 1990-ies there were several cafes and restaurants, which helped to attract the youth, and partly back Piazza Mercatale spirit of the bustling city centre.