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Santa Maria delle Carceri square

In the splendid square there are both Renaissance and medieval architectures, that make it particularly evocative: the Church of Santa Maria delle Carceri and the Emperor’s Castle that create a unique monument.
The square takes its name from the church that was built on the Stinche prison, on a wall of which was frescoed a Madonna with child.
On the 6th of July 1484 a miracle happened. The face of the Virgin changed its expression as if it was alive, so it was decided to build the present church, giving the task to Giuliano da Sangallo, the favorite architect of Lorenzo the Magnificent.
The other considerable building is the Emperor’s Castle, built by Frederick II of Swabia between 1247 and 1248 as a stronghold against the "Guelph" Florence. The Castle is the only example of Norman Swabian architecture in central-northern Italy.
On the other side of the square you can see the Antonio Maraini War Memorial flanked by cypress trees and inaugurated in 1934. From here, through Vicolo de 'Bardi you can reach Piazza Santa Maria del Castello direction Palazzo Pretorio, while in the North you reach via Pugliesi, true center of the Prato nightlife.
In Piazza Santa Maria delle Carceri you can also see the bell tower and the garden of the Church of Saint Francesco, where the work Image by Salvatore Messina (1962) is exhibited.


  • Prato (PO)

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