Main Office


Main Office         Before the 16th century, in the area on Corso Cairoli where the main Record Office building now stands, there was a huge complex of large residential structures owned by the Abbey of Marola (a village located in the mountains near Reggio Emilia).

         Midway through the 1500s, Ercole II d’Este decided to strengthen the town walls in order to meet the new defence requirements imposed by the spread of the use of gunpowder. He knocked down all of the constructions in a belt around the town spanning 200 perches. One of the places demolished was the Santo Spirito Monastery. The Friars Minor of the Observance who were housed there requested and received permission to build a new church and an annexed monastery designed by the architect Alberto Pacchioni in the area where the Record Office building can be found today.

         In 1783, the Duke of Modena ordered the friars to leave the monastery. In the same year, work started on the section facing the modern-day Corso Cairoli, where they were planning to construct a building to provide accommodation for the town governor, the commander of the armed forces and the town major. Soon the work was put on hold and part of the monastery was sold to the Jew Moisè Beniamino Foà. The following year, the remaining part of the building and the church were sold to private buyers.

         Finally, in 1849 a huge, majestic building was designed by Pietro Marchelli and constructed by the engineer Luigi Croppi in the area of the Santo Spirito monastery. It was paid for by the Jews Giuseppe and Bonaiuto Carmi, and it is from this family that the Record Office’s main headquarters got the name that is still used today.

         Since the time of its construction, the building has not undergone substantial changes, except for the recent demolition of its west wing. In order to give a clearer idea, some images are provided, including pictures of the nineteenth century tempera paintings that decorate the main floor meeting rooms (today's office floor and Study Room). If you would like further information either about the palace or about its frescoes, you can consult the "Events Archive", searching for available materials relating to the event, "The Painted Sky".


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