The Palazzo Koch della Banca d’Italia is a building on the Via Nazionale in Rome. It was designed by, and named after, architect Gaetano Koch. The enormous building occupies the entire block between the Via Mazzarino and the Via dei Serpenti.
Palazzo Koch Rome
Address, opening hours and entrance fee
The address of the Palazzo Koch is Via Nazionale, 90-91 – 00184 Rome. Neighbourhood: Monti. Bus: 64, 70, 170, H, N7, N8, N9, N15, N18. It cannot be visited by the public.
History and description
Construction of the Palazzo Koch started in 1886. By 1894 the palace, which had been built as the central headquarters of the Banca d’Italia (at the time still called Banca Nazionale), had been completed.
The building was built on top of what used to be known as the Orto Mercurelli. Here, somebody of who not much more is known than the name Domenico grew fruit and vegetables for the inhabitants of the then sparsely populated district.
The Palazzo Koch occupies three floors, the lower of which is covered with slabs of travertine marble. The central section, with three arches and two entrances, protrudes slightly from the rest of the building. The windows on the middle floor have a semi-circular tympanum and those on the top floor a triangular one. The windows in the central section are separated by half columns.
The coats of arms above the two portals are the ones of Rome, Florence, Turin and the Savoy family (the former royal family).
Originally there were also statues on the middle part of the facade. These personified Finance, Economy, Law, Agriculture, Industry and Trade.
The Palazzo Koch is surrounded by a ditch and palm trees line the walls.
Archaeological finds (Antinoo)
A monumental staircase leads to the first floor, which is adorned with statues and painted tapestries. A number of archaeological objects found during the construction of the building are also on display. The most famous one of these is the Antinoo statue, which is placed in the courtyard. This more than life size (2,28m) represents a favourite of Hadrian. After Antinoo had drowned in the Nile, the Emperor had several statues of the boy erected.
In 1982, ruins of patrician houses and of a temple dedicated to the God Silvano were found under the bank.
The Banca Centrale della Repubblica Italiana was founded in 1893 as a result of a monetary crisis and malfeasance that led to the collapse of the Banca Romana. As of 1926 it has a monopoly on issuing paper money. In 1936 it became the official central bank of Italy. As of 1992 it sets the official interest rate.