Bolzano’s mercantile history
The Mercantile Museum of Bolzano, lodged in the homonymous building, is located in the heart of the ancient trading settlement, between Via Argentieri and Via Portici. The 18th-century building, designed by the Veronese architect Francesco Perotti, was used for over a century to accommodate the Merchant Court, a special court founded in 1635 by the Archduchess of Austria Claudia de' Medici. Its purpose was to resolve every commercial dispute that arose between the merchants during the four international trade fairs.
Towards the mid-19th century, the material assets and competences of the Merchant Court were moved to the newly founded Chamber of Commerce of Bolzano. Considering the great historical and architectural value of the building, it was decided to carry out regular maintenance work and refurbishment. On this basis, the Chamber of Commerce restored its former seat and opened Mercantile Museum in 1997.
The museum, unique in its kind, is an important record of Bolzano’s mercantile history. In the first floor, the economic history is documented by several paintings, original documents, sumptuous furnishings and refined objects of applied art. In the second floor there are displayed documents of the commercial archive of the trading company ‘G. A. Menz’, one of the most important and representative merchant family in the city between the 18th and 19th centuries. Finally, the three medieval cellars under the palace that were recently restored, complete the history of the city, illustrating images of Bolzano of the 13th and 14th centuries.
- Monday - Saturday
- 10.00 - 12.30
- Adults: € 4,00
- Children (up to 6 years free entrance), students, senior citizens: € 2,00
- Family (2 adults with children): € 8,00
- Audio guide: self-guided tours for exploring the Museum with audio, text and images: € 3,00