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In the 16th century a palazzo was built for Cardinal Ferrero di Vercelli in the area corresponding to the northern section of Constantine’s baths, on the Quirinal hill.
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During the papacy of Sixtus V Sisto V Peretti (1585-90) it housed the Ecclesiastical Court of the Consulta, one of the most important judicial bodies of the State. A century later, pope Clement XII Corsini (1730-40) decided to rebuilt a new building; the new palazzo was built to a design by Ferdinando Fuga between 1732 and 1734.
After 1870 the building was the residence of Umberto and Margherita of Savoy, the heirs to the throne, then the seat of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, then in 1922 that of the Ministry for Colonies. Since 1955 Palazzo della Consulta has been the seat of the Constitutional Court.
The two-storey façade with a mezzanine is decorated with imposing pilasters and has high windows with tympanums. The central door is crowned by the statues of Justice and Religion (F. Maini, 1739); on the upper balustrade, the Corsini coat of arms is between winged statues (P. Benaglia, 1735).
In the courtyard is a dramatic double flight of steps on two levels; inside the 18th century decorations and the frescoed ceilings are partly preserved.
Piazza del Quirinale 41, Rome
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