The ‘Palazzo Comunale‘, or Town Hall, the current seat of the Municipality of San Miniato, has its origins in the early 14th century, when it was used as the residence of the Twelve Lords – Defenders of the People.
The Palazzo was originally composed of a single plot obtained from the typical subdivision of medieval terraced narrow-fronted houses which progressively broadened along their length towards their rear.
The Sala delle Udienze ‘Council Chamber’ (now the “Hall of the Seven Virtues”) was on the first floor, reached by an external brick staircase with a single ramp. On the ground floor was located the chapel (now the Oratory of Loretino) which, from 1399, would house the miraculous image of the Holy Crucifix, subsequently moved in 1718 to the new church built opposite the Palazzo Comunale.
The Palazzo followed the fortunes of the city’s history. From the end of the free Commune to the years of Florentine domination (1370-1500), the Palazzo underwent restorations and expansions that continued over the following centuries to meet both the needs of the central Florentine authorities and the various needs of the administration of the local community.
With the last repairs of April 2008, the headquarters of the City Council was moved to the entrance hall on the first floor, while the historic headquarters, the current “Hall of the Seven Virtues”, is now used as room for ceremonies.