Palazzo della Mercanzia - Bologna, Italy
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member hykesj
N 44° 29.631 E 011° 20.791
32T E 686562 N 4929404
Bologna’s Palazzo della Mercanzia, also called the Loggia dei Mercanti, appears on this postage stamp of the short-lived Italian Social Republic.
Waymark Code: WM18Q0F
Location: Emilia–Romagna, Italy
Date Posted: 09/08/2023
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
Views: 0

The site where this building stands, at the intersection of the ancient Via Emilia and Via Salaria roads, had been a center of mercantile activity since the days of ancient Rome. The Gothic structure was completed in 1391 and for centuries served as a mercantile court, handling commercial disputes and charges. Sentences were announced publicly from the marble balcony seen in the middle of the building’s façade. Certain defendants, if found guilty of what we might call fraud, were punished by being tied to a pole for public humiliation. Since the early nineteenth century, it has served as the headquarters for Bologna’s Chamber of Commerce.

Architecturally, the Palazzo della Mercanzia resembles the nearby Palazzo Re Enzo, no doubt because it was designed by the same guy, Antonio di Vincenzo. The building has undergone several renovations and restorations over the years, including the repair of damage caused by World War II bombardment.

In the summer of 1943, after suffering some major defeats in Africa and Sicily during World War II, Italy arrested Benito Mussolini and signed an armistice with the United States and the Allies. Germany, which already had a significant military presence in northern Italy, seized control, found and freed Mussolini, and set up a government called the National Republican State of Italy (later the Italian Social Republic) with Mussolini as head of state. Though claiming jurisdiction over most of the Italian peninsula, they really only controlled certain enclaves in the north. And the ISR was not recognized by the rest of the world except for Germany and its allies. The Italian Social Republic lasted about nineteen months until Germany was ousted and the ISR collapsed under its own weight.

In spite of its short existence, the Italian Social Republic managed to issue its own currency notes and postage stamps. Initially, the postage stamps were those of Italy overprinted for use in the ISR, but eventually they issued completely new designs, including a commemorative issue, a special delivery stamp and this one, featuring the ‘Loggia dei Mercanti,’ which appeared sometime in 1944.
Stamp Issuing Country: Italian Social Republic

Date of Issue: 1944

Denomination: 20c

Color: rose red

Stamp Type: Single Stamp

Relevant Web Site: Not listed

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