On the site of an older lodge built in 1347, the branch of the Costantini family arriving from Cadore valley to Belluno built its palace between 1471 (as testified by the coat of arms of the venetian Rector Benedetto Priuli carved in the capitol of the corner column) and 1473 (on the façade there is a coat of arms of the rector Antonio Basadonna). The new building incorporated and preserved the wide open space in the ground floor that used to be the meeting point for the Ghibelline knightst. This was probably the reason why in July 1509 it hosted for some days the Emperor Maximilian I of Habsburg in his only stay in Belluno during the war of the Cambrai League. When Venice reconquered Belluno, in 1517, the venetians set on the façade of the building a large St. Mark’s lion (now heavily damaged after the Jacobins hammered it during the 1797 revolt) to demonstrate the renewed possession of the city and to balance the destroyed lion which used to be carved on the central top cube of the fountain in Piazza delle Erbe, ruined by the imperials and left as it was by the venetians, as a testimony of the vandal violence of Venice’ enemies.
Source: Marco Perale
Piazza Mercato, 9, 32100, Belluno