The Rectors Palace was the administrative heart of the Dubrovnik Republic. It is built in Gothic style, with the Baroque and Renaissance reconstructions.
The Palace was destroyed twice in the 15th century during the gunpowder explosions. Onofrio della Cava restored it after the first explosion in 1435 in the Gothic style.
The capitals were formed in Renaissance style by Pietro di Martino of Milan. The second gunpowder explosion in 1463 damaged the western facade of the Palace, and the two famous architects Michelozzo of Florence and Juraj Dalmatinac were involved in the reconstruction for a short period.
In the end, the design of Michelozzo was rejected, but his influence in the restoration, mainly in Renaissance style, cannot be disputed. The atrium was partly renovated after the earthquake of 1667 with a majestic Baroque staircase. The Rector of Dubrovnik lived in the Palace during his one-month mandate. The Palace also housed the Minor and Major Council hall, the courtroom, the Rectors residence, administration office, an arsenal, gunpowder storehouse, and prisons. There is an entrance from the Rectors Palace to the Great Council Palace.
The writing: OBLITI PRIVATORUM PUBLICA CURATE, which means “Forgetting your private business, concern yourselves with public affairs,” can be noticed above the entrance door. A torso of the prosperous sea captain and benefactor Miho Pracat, the work by P. Giacometti from 1628, can be found in the atrium and this is the only public memorial that the Dubrovnik Republic set up for a worthy citizen.
Today, at the Rectors Palace houses exhibitions of the Cultural-historic Department of the Dubrovnik Museum. Halls are arranged to display the original environment with antique objects for daily use and furniture, as well as paintings by Italian and local artists.
At the Museum you can also find a collection of old coins used in the Dubrovnik Republic, a group of utensils and arms of Domus Christi Pharmacy from the 15th century.
Apart from being abnormally beautiful, the Rectors Palace Atrium has exceptional acoustics and is often used as a performance venue.
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