City centre and centre of political life of Rome, the square is surrounded by famous buildings: the Palazzo Chigi (on the right, with the colonnade behind) seat of the Cabinet Office since 1961; on the left is the Palazzo Ferraioli, already Del Bufalo, Aldobrandini and Niccolini. To the right is the small church S. Bartolomeo ai Bergamaschi, aka Santa Maria della Pietà, founded in 1561 as chapel for the Ospedale dei Pazzi; opposite is the Palazzo Wedekind, embellished by 16 gorgeous ionic columns from Veii and back is the building of Galleria Colonna. At the centre of the square is the fountain by Giacomo Della Porta and Marc Aurelius’ Column (176-193) decorated with bas-reliefs to celebrate the triumph of the emperor upon the Marcomanni, the Quadi and the Sarmatians.
The building was began by Pietro Aldobrandini who gave the direction of works to Matteo Bartonili da Città di Castello (1580-1586). According to the sources Giacomo della Porta and Carlo Maderno worked in the site. In 1659 the building, not yet finished, was bought by Pope Alexander VII for his family, after whom it is named. The building was completed in the Baroque era. Since 1917, when it was acquired by the State, the Palazzo Chigi has been associated with politics. Since the 1970s, after a complete restoration (1959-61), the palace is the seat of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers.
Outside, the building follows the severe concepts of the Counter-Reformation. On the main facade, on Via del Corso, the windows of the first floor have round and triangular tympanums. The face to Piazza Colonna is larger and has a rich portal (1739). Inside are worth seeing the cortile della Greca, with a fountain decorated with the coat of arms of the Chigi and Della Rovere families (1749) and the flight of steps leading to the first floor, where is the Salone del Consiglio dei Ministri. In the ceiling of the Salone d’oro, a neoclassical hall designed by Giovanni Stern (1765-1767), is the Sleeping Endimion by Baciccia.
Palazzo Wedekind is a palazzo in Piazza Colonna in Rome, located next to the church of Santi Bartolomeo ed Alessandro dei Bergamaschi. It is notable as the historic offices of the daily paper Il Tempo.
On a site occupied in antiquity by the Temple of Marcus Aurelius, the medieval buildings on the site were cleared for a structure erected by the Ludovisi (1659) that became the offices of the vicegerente of the vicariate of Rome. To house the general director of the postal service for the Papal States, moved here in 1814, the palazzo was completely rebuilt by Pope Gregory XVI to designs by Giuseppe Valadier carried out by
Pietro Camporese the Younger. At Valadier’s urging, Camporese added a portico built with twelve elegant Roman columns brought from the ruins of Veii, supplemented with two pairs of columns flanking the main doorway, retrieved from the basilica of San Paolo fuori le Mura, which burned in 1823.
The fountain in the Piazza Colonna
This fountain was designed by Giacomo Della Porta and built by the sculptor Rocco Rossi from Fiesole in 1575 and completed in 1577. It presents an octagonal pond with the sides alternatively concave and convex in portasanta marble and decorated by fillets with sixteen white marble lion heads. In 1585 it was fed by the Acqua Vergine. Dalla Porta’s initial project with the fountain leaning against the base of the Colonna Antonina and a background of rocks was never carried out. The project also
included the colossal statue of Marforius that today is situated in the courtyard that has its same name in the Capitoline Museums. In 1656 the fountain was subject to a restoration, certainly of minor importance, by Bernini. In 1702 pope Clement the Eleventh Albani (1700-1721) put his coat of arms, the eight-pointed star, on the central basin. In 1830 the star was removed together with the basin and replaced with a work by Alessandro Stocchi that consists of the current white marble basin and two groups of pairs of dauphins with the tails intertwined and a shell.
A shrine to Industry and Commerce: this is how the people of Rome envisaged the Galleria in Piazza Colonna when it was inaugurated in October 1922, with its shops and bank branches therein, completed after years of work. With its majestic presence on via del Corso, Galleria Colonna represented the inauguration of a building of huge dimensions, multifunctional in its purpose since it was intended both for office use and retail purposes, built after an intense debate, which started during the very first years of Rome as capital, and in pursuance of a project of exceptional ambition.
source and read more: