Between the Piazza Mercanti and Via Mercanti – just west of the Duomo – there is a group of buildings that splendidy illustrates the development of Milanese architecture from the Middle Ages to the 17th century. In the Piazza Mercanti stands the Palazzo della Ragione (Court of Justice) also know as the Broletto Nuovo.
lt is the most important building from the period of the Commune type of government. It was built around 1230 and has an elevated ground floor supported by an open area of three rows of pillars and arches The story above has three-mullioned windows In 1770 another story was added which altered its architectural style, Above one pillar is a high-relief of the Podesty, or Governor, of Milan, Oldrado da Tresseno attributed to the master Roman sculptor, Benedetto Antelami On the other side of the square is the elegant 14th century Loggia degli Osii built of black and white marble commissioned by Matteo Visconti. At 2 Via Mercanti is the Palazzo dei Giureconsulti (the Jurist’s Office Building) commissioned by Pope Paul IV (the Milanese Angelo Maria Medici) in the late Renaissance period (1560-64).
The part of the tower with the clock in the middle of the fagade dates back to 1272 Beside it stands the 17th century Palazzo delle Scuole Palatine (school building) built by Carlo Buzzi in 1645 on the site of the ancient school where St. Augustine once taught At the end of the Piazza is what is left of the 15th century Casa dei Panigarola which once housed the Statute Office.