Of extraordinary beauty, it is worth making some effort to reach the Palazzo Pretorio crossing on foot the village of Buggiano Castello.
It is one of the best preserved and most representative medieval civil architecture in Valdinievole.
The interior of Palazzo Pretorio
On the facade, recently restored, are the 57 coats of arms of the podestà who led the town between the fourteenth and seventeenth century.
On the ground floor there were rooms decorated with frescoes, of which only fragments remain. Once there was no division into several rooms, but a single room with a large octagonal pillar in the center.
In the basement are visible brick vaults, probably the environments that are here are the oldest, perhaps of Roman origin.
The very low times suggest the use of space as a prison.
On the first floor there is a beautiful room overlooking the square with mullioned windows and used
for conferences, events and ceremonies.
The facade with its 57 coats of arms
On the facade stands out the coat of arms of the town that depicts the going ox on the left, on which is leaning the Florentine Lily.
Most of the coats of arms are in stone and you recognize those of different families such as the Salutati, the Strozzi, the Peruzzi, is also still visible the coat of arms of the Ghibellines with the characteristic eagle with outstretched wings.
Some emblems on the facade were made with the Della Robbia technique of polychrome glazed ceramics, widespread in Pistoia and throughout the surrounding area.
It is said that the colored coats of arms were many more than those that can be seen today and that unfortunately they were stolen over the centuries.
The medieval palace probably dates back to the first half of the xlii century, but perhaps a building stood here even earlier.
From the beginning it was clear the public destination of the place and from ‘300 to ‘600 there were successors podestà who led the Municipality.
In 1775 it lost its civil function because the municipal offices were moved downstream, to a village in Buggiano and the palace was sold to private individuals.
Luckily in 1881 it was bought back by the Municipality and after hosting the Municipal Historical Archive (now moved to the Library in Piazza del Grano) is used as an exhibition and congress space.