Palazzo dei Musei (Museums Palace)

Palazzo dei Musei (Museums Palace)

The Palazzo dei Musei, built in the mid-18th century, initially housed the military arsenal. Designed by the Duke Francesco III d’Este to accommodate the General House of the Poor, the building was renovated by Pietro Termanini in 1769. In 1788 it was turned into the House of Crafts. It is now the Palace of Museums, containing a handful of key cultural institutions. On the ground floor, in the northern courtyard, is the reception area for all of them.

History of Palazzo dei Musei

In order to bring together Modena’s “Opere Pie” or charitable institutions, Duke Francis III d'Este had a Hotel for the Poor built in Piazza Sant'Agostino. Construction started in 1764 and was completed in 1771, to plans by the architect Pietro Termanini who repurposed the buildings of the Este family armoury and Augustinian Convent.The hotel provided food, lodgings and employment for the poor.In 1788, Duke Ercole III d’Este turned the building into a Hotel of Arts.It was then occupied by Napoleon’s troops, after which it became a military residence for Estense Officers and then the headquarters for the Provincial Hostel for Beggars.After the Unification of Italy, in 1881 Modena Municipal Council purchased a part of it to be used for the Palazzo dei Musei.All the city’s cultural institutes were housed here, both civic (Historic Archive, Luigi Poletti Art Library, Civic Museum), and state (Estense Library and Gallery).

On the ground floor of the Palazzo dei Musei (Museums Palace) there are the reception services, the Reception and the Information Point that provides information for visiting the city Institutes and for cultural initiatives and events proposed.


Museum merchandising, catalogs and publications produced by the cultural institutes in the building. There are also the new edition of the cd rom "Mutina: rediscovery of a Roman city," and the guide of the Roman Lapidary Museum.

The cafeteria offers light lunch, hot and cold drinks and a place to stay for recreation and reading.


Divided into 3 rooms, the laboratory offers the opportunity to use equipment, tools and materials that stimulate creativity, help understanding and planning. Educational programs are offered to both schools and the city with the aim of creating an education system spread throughout the territory.

Download HERE the Museums Palace depliant