Branciforti Palace in Leonforte

Branciforti Palace in Leonforte

Davide Mauro - CC4.0


 Piazza Branciforti, 2 - Leonforte (EN)

Branciforti Palace in Leonforte, with its imposing size, is the symbol of the entire town.
It was built in the early 1600s at the behest of the founding Prince Nicoló Placido Branciforti and belonged to his family until 1850, when the eighth and last Prince, Giuseppe Branciforti, left the city of Leonforte forever to move permanently to Paris.
The building, in seventeenth-century style, has a quadrangular plan and rises on two floors with ground floor windows and balconies with shelves carved on the first floor. It has a huge internal courtyard which is also square in the center of which there is a deep cistern also square in shape and flanked by the warehouses, the arsenal and other rooms. Of particular value is the mannerist portal with ashlar which presents motifs appearing on the pendentives and on the shelves of the central balcony above, on which weapons and war trophies attributed to the Roman sculptor Fabio Salviati are sculpted. On the south side there are two fortification bastions that surround a small villa built in 1878 by the Municipality.
On the central wing, in correspondence with the entrance door, there is a staircase leading to the two upper floors of the building which constituted the residence of the prince. Of particular value are the two reception rooms on the first floor, decorated with fine stuccoes and recently restored. Unfortunately, the Palace has been subject to constant and progressive deterioration over time: in 1950 the gallery was destroyed which served as the palatine chapel of the Branciforti family and the garden with secular trees to make way for a school building; the south-west wing was destroyed following a collapse in 1958; and finally the subdivision in private hands, has brought about profound changes inside the same building that have canceled its original features.

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