THE PIAZZA IN CONTEXT
Piazza del Tribunale and its Buildings
Today's Piazza del Tribunale, formerly Piazza Arnaldo Mussolini, was built between 1939 and 1942. It formed a central part of the urban regulatory plan for “new” Bolzano, developed by the Fascist regime in 1933/34.
The edifice which is today the Palazzo degli Uffici Finanziari (offices of the Financial Courts), began life as the Casa Littoria (also called Casa del Fascio), or local headquarters of the National Fascist Party (PNF). The lightly convex façade, of what was the Casa Littoria, was built between 1939 and 1942 by architects Guido Pellizzari, Francesco Rossi and Luis Plattner. On the pediment is a monumental inscription, extolling the Fascist Empire. It is architecturally balanced by the concave front of the contemporary courthouse directly opposite. This was completed between 1939 and 1956, and is the work of Paolo Rossi de Paoli and Michele Busiri Vici. Both buildings define the wide space of the piazza, a feat of outstanding urban planning., Although never constructed, originally a 32 metre high tower, the Torre Littoria, was to be included on the left.
The eastern edge of the piazza skirts today's Corso Italia (then, Viale Giulio Cesare). Opposite, is the Church of Cristo Re with the adjoining Dominican monastery. The church was designed by Guido Palmer and built between 1938 and 1939, with the bell tower added just after the Second World War. Taken together, they form one of the principal focal points of modern Bolzano-Bozen. Here the political, legal, ideological and religious powers were brought together, in both their functional and symbolic forms. The architecture of the church, the party and justice, subservient to power, formed the perfect triad of the totalitarian state, still clearly visible in the urban fabric.
Alto Adige, 31.10.1956:
newspaper article on the incomplete bas-relief
Alto Adige, 16.9.1956, newspaper article on the visit of the President of the Italian Republic, Giovanni Gronchi, for the inauguration of the courthouse.
Dolomiten, 9.1.1960, newspaper article on the bas-relief & its meaning.
The „New Bolzano“ in Marcello Piacentini‘s urban plan, 1935.
First constructions Piazza Adriano-Hadriansplatz & Corso Italia-Italienallee, 1930
Corso Italia-Italienallee, late 1930s.
The Church of Christ the King (Cristo Re), 1938-39.
Night scene with the Church of Christ the King (Cristo Re), from Corso Italia-Italienallee, 1959.
Piazza del Tribunale-
Cycling rally along Corso Italia-Italienallee, 1930s.
Motorcycle race start on Corso Italia-Italienallee, 1949. The courthouse is in the background.
Inauguration of the 3rd Bolzano Trade Fair, with Italian Minister of Finance Ezio Vanoni. September 1950.
Tractor parade for the 3rd Bolzano Trade Fair, 1950. In the background, the court house and the Uffici Finanziari- Finanzämter.
Eraldo Fozzer‘s Fountain of the Naiads, on a postcard, 1970s.