The National Museum of Medieval and Modern Art is one of Matera 's most important cultural attractions , located inside the impressive Palazzo Lanfranchi .
This building, built in the seventeenth century as a seminary, represents the maximum expression of the architecture of the time in the city.
The building was wanted by the bishop Vincenzo Lanfranchi, who entrusted the project to the friar Francesco da Copertino, following the Tridentine dictates of the time.
The construction, begun in 1668 and completed four years later, incorporated the pre-existing church of the Carmine, whose main façade became part of the spectacular façade of the new episcopal complex, facing the 'Piano' on which the expansion of the Città dei Sassi will take place .
In the following years, the building underwent numerous interventions and expansions by the various bishops who followed one another, including Monsignor Brancaccio who decorated the walls of the cloister with the sundial and five stone busts reproducing his effigy.
The building remained the seat of the Seminary until 1864, when, following the subversive laws and the transfer of the Seminary to the Cathedral, it became the seat of the Liceo Classico.
During this period, the building maintained its important didactic function and will also welcome the famous poet Giovanni Pascoli in his first teaching assignment in the two-year period 1882-1884.
The National Museum of Medieval and Modern Art
In 1980, Palazzo Lanfranchi became the seat of the Superintendency for Artistic and Historical Heritage of Basilicata, while since 2003 it has housed the National Museum of Medieval and Modern Art on the first floor of the building. The museum offers visitors an extensive collection of works of art, including paintings, sculptures and artifacts, spanning the period from the Middle Ages to the modern era.
On the ground floor, in the corridor around the cloister, is the reception service to the museum with the ticket office, the documentation centre, with the Library, Photo Library and Catalogue, the Levi Room, where Lucania '61 is exhibited, and the Pascoli Room, intended for at exhibitions and cultural events.
On the second floor of the building is the Sala delle Arcate, the only large room obtained from the classrooms built by Monsignor Di Macco, rooms used for exhibitions, temporary exhibitions, conferences and conventions.
The National Museum of Medieval and Modern Art inside Palazzo Lanfranchi represents a fundamental stop for art and culture lovers who visit Matera .
The building, with its thousand-year history and its numerous artistic treasures, is a true testimony to the great cultural wealth of the city and the region