"Palazzo Muti and Palazzo Balestra (Palazzo Muti Papazzurri)" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Tuesday 3rd May 2011
Palazzo Balestra (Palazzo Muti Papazzurri) is a Baroque palazzo in Rome. Palazzo Balestra (Balestra palace) is located at the north end of Piazza dei Santi Apostoli (no. 49). It was formerly called Palazzo Muti-Papazurri (and sometimes Palazzo dei Santi Apostoli or Palazzo Stuart).
It was built in 1660 by the architect Mattia de' Rossi, a pupil of Gian Lorenzo Bernini. It was built for the Muti Papazzurri probably by M.De Rossi in 1644. Clement XI presented it to James III Stuart, the Old Pretender, in 1718, where he got married and where his sons were born.
The history of the palace is signed with one tragic event, which stroke all of Rome: in 1838 here died from consumption Vittoria Savorelli, due to unhappy love for a member of the Doria family.
During the 18th century the palazzo formed the centre of a family complex of properties which were rented in their entirety to the Stuarts, pretenders to the British throne; thus for a time the palazzo was the home of a court in exile.
In 1909 the palazzo was heavily restored which has changed de' Rossi's architectural concept of the original design by removing the pediments to the windows and the statuary decorating the roofline.
The 17th and 18th century interior decoration of the palazzo has been preserved complete with their frescoed ceilings. The gallery, one of the principal reception rooms, has frescos depicting scenes from classical mythology attributed to Giovanni Francesco Grimaldi and Niccolò Berrettoni. Grimaldi was one of the most fashionable painters of his day having worked extensively for Cardinal Mazarin.
Today the palazzo houses the Pontifical Biblical Institute. The palace is now also occupied by a number of different offices. On most days of the week (but not on Sunday) it is possible to enter through the large door which fronts on Piazza dei Santi Apostoli, and walk down the corridor into the courtyard. On the left wall of the corridor there is an Italian inscription.
The Palazzo Muti (officially the Palazzo Muti e Santuario della Madonna dell' Archetto) is a large townhouse in the Piazza dei Santi Apostoli, Rome, Italy, built in 1644. Together with the neighbouring Palazzo Muti Papazzurri, it originally formed part of a complex of adjoining palazzi and other houses owned by the Muti Papazzurri family. During the 18th century this entire range of buildings was, by courtesy of the Pope, the residence of the exiled Stuart dynasty who were resident in Rome and recognised by the Catholic Church as the rightful kings of England.
divided by double pilasters. That such an architectural feature should be hidden insinuates that the whole facade may at one stage in its history been of a more ornate design than is apparent today. An 18th century drawing of the building (above) shows the top floor was originally lower and decorated in the Baroque style with statuary.
However, even it its severe design the façade betrays some internal secrets, the first floor is obviously a piano nobile, as a hint of the importance of this floor is indicated on the exterior by, not only tall pedimented windows but also above them blind windows indicating the double height of the reception rooms behind them.
The house originally formed part of a complex of family properties which included two other palazzi and two more houses, one of the palazzi was the Palazzo Muti Papazzurri which faces into the Piazza della Pilotta.
Note: The Palazzo Muti should not be confused with the Palazzo Muti Papazzurri in the Piazza della Pilotta which was designed by Mattia de' Rossi in 1660.
Palazzo Muti and Palazzo Balestra (Palazzo Muti Papazzurri)
Piazza dei Santi Apostoli, 81 (Piazza della Pilotta, 32), Rione Trevi
00187, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Zone: Rione Trevi (Quirinale-Tritone-Barberini) (Roma centro)
Palazzo Muti and Palazzo Balestra (Palazzo Muti Papazzurri) is Shown By "Map E Zone" As "105"
Palazzo Balestra (Palazzo Muti Papazzurri) Website: http://www.palazzidiroma.it/palazzo%20Muti-Papazzurri.htm
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