Piazza del Quirinale (Quirinale Square)

"Piazza del Quirinale (Quirinale Square)" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Saturday 30th April 2011

Caster & Pollux obelisk in the middle of Piazza del Quirinale

It occupies the summit of the Quirinal (60m), one of the Seven Hills of Rome. The square's creation was begun by Gregory XIII in the end of the 16th century. Previously this space was occupied by a Convent of Benedictines of St Paul, destroyed by Paul V, and by constructions of the Colonna, who's property arrived nearly to the facade of the Palazzo del Quirinale. Pope Urban VIII obtained cleaning of the territory from these constructions and further enlarging of the square; Sixtus V had the fountain with the Dioscuri placed here; and the final forms were given it only with Clement XII, by construction of Palazzo della Consulta and Palazzo delle Scuderie in the first half of the 18th century. Nevertheless it was still different from what we can see now, as it was rearranged by Pius IX in the middle of the 19th century with the help of architect V.Vespignani. Today is the seat of the Italian Constitutional Court.

two horses with the Dioscuri (Castor and Pollux) at Piazza del Quirinale (Quirinale Square)
Most of the square is isolated from traffic and is one of the panoramic places of Rome with a wonderful view on the city. Every evening the ceremony of "change of the guard" takes place here. Aside from the view, however, there are many things to be seen around the square, which boasts buildings on three sides and a clear view of the city down below from the fourth side. The Quirinale fountain and the obelisk with the prancing statues of Castor and Pollux stand in splendor in the piazza.

The monumental composition decorating Piazza del Quirinale is composed of two horses with the Dioscuri (Castor and Pollux), basin of a fountain and an obelisk in the middle. Two statues are Roman copies, dating from the Imperial era, of Greek originals of the 5th century B.C.; they were found nearby on the territory of the Baths of Constantine, and gave the name to this place: "Monte Cavallo" (Horse Mountain). Sixtus V ordered to D.Fontana to place them on their present position with a little fountain between them as a decorative element of the square in front of the Quirinal. In 1783-86 here was also placed the Obelisk of Augustus (14.5m) discovered in 1781 at Chiesa di S.Rocco and originally from the Mausoleum of Augustus (its twin is at Piazza dell'Esquilino). In 1818 the new fountain was created with a basin by G.Della Porta which originally served as a cattle-trough in the Roman Forum.

Looking onto the piazza are several noteworthy buildings. The most significant, obviously, is the Quirinal Palace itself. Facing this is the Palazzo delle Scuderie, the pope's stables, where his numerous carriages used to be kept. After its restoration by Gae Aulenti, the building is now used as an exhibition center. The Piazza del Quirinale has buildings on three sides while the fourth side is open giving a splendid view of the city with the St. Peter’s dome in the distance. A visit to this square is wish of every tourist. More details; visit: Palazzo del Quirinale (Quirinal Palace)

Address:
Piazza del Quirinale (Quirinale Square)
Entrances: Via Piacenza, Via del Quirinale, Via Genova.
00187, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Zone: Rione Trevi (Quirinale-Tritone-Barberini) (Roma centro)
Piazza del Quirinale (Quirinale Square) is Shown By "Map E Zone" As "92"

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