• The coats of arms room

    The coats of arms room

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The Coats of Arms room

This room is one of the places within the Castle that represents the last transformation of the great building.

It became the Palazzo del Governo in 1598 with devolution, after having been built as a defence then used as the residence of the Este Dukes.
This was where political power was wielded by the papal legates - while the bishop continued to reside in his traditional base - who governed the plains area in the name of the Holy Roman See until papal power was ceded.
Following this transfer, civic power was exercised by prefects who until the year 2000 also resided in the Castle. Designs by Pirro Ligorio (1500 ca.-1583) for the "Libraria" and the "Antichario" in the Castle relate to the period around 1570 when this room was divided into two distinct areas.
There was a large room and a smaller section that took in the last of the five windows overlooking the inner courtyard.
An inventory carried out in 1584 demonstrates that the larger room contained various objects, marble statues and sculptures belonging to the Este family collection whereas the smaller room held less grand objects, mostly vases and bronzes.
Between the vaulted roof and the walls there is a painted section of more than 4 metres in height that bore the papal coats of arms and, beneath them, the coats of arms of the cardinal legates who had been sent by the popes to exercise both civic and political duties for the good of the Holy Church.
The painted section or cornice was carried out in the early 1600's and bore anonymous shields in alternating silver and gold colours.
One by one, as one cardinal succeeded another and one pope succeeded another, his coat of arms was added to this "diary" of Church domination that lasted from 1598 to 1859.
The lower decoration is ascribed to the painter Giuseppe Migliari (Ferrara 1822-Odessa 1897) who worked alongside Celestino Tommasi (Ferrara 1796-Bologna 1868). In 1857 when pope Pius IX visited Ferrara, apart from organising several cardinals' coats of arms, six illustrations of the main participants of the legation were completed. They represented Comacchio, Ferrara, Lugo and Bagnacavallo (the only one not to be mounted under the city coat of arms), Pomposa and Cento. The stained illustration on the North wall commemorates the legate, count Filippo Folicaldi whose coat of arms and memories were "removed" following repression during a period of Austrian rule (1852) and his dismissal after his involvement in a trial (1856). The unification of Italy is commemorated by two plaques over the door leading to the Councils Room and the so-called "Salotto Azzurro" and they commemorate respectively the dates of 6 September 1859, the day on which the Romagna Assembly refused to submit to the Pontifical temporal governor and the 7 December 1859, when the Territory was annexed to Sardinia under king Vittorio Emanuele. From 1860, coats of arms of the families of prefects of the Kingdom of Italy were added to those of the cardinals lining the Castle walls.

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