The Palazzo Comunale, or municipal hall, overlooks Piazza Grande and incorporates medieval buildings that were unified in the 1600s.
This fine building, which embraces Piazza Grande, is composed of individual buildings erected one beside the other as municipal offices in the Middle Ages; they were joined together in the 17th century. The facade was designed by Raffaele Menia, who gave it an austere look lightened by the long colonnades stretching out from the sides of the Torre dell'Orologio, or clock-tower, a dominant element of the building built between the 15th and 16th centuries.
On the corner of Via Castellaro is the statue called la Bonissima, which is very popular and beloved among locals. An impressive 16th-century staircase leads inside the building. Within we find the “stolen bucket”, which, according to legend, the Modenese took from the Bolognese during the battle of Zappolino in 1325; having become a symbol of civic values, it inspired the famous mock-comic poem “La Secchia Rapita” by Alessandro Tassoni. The Sala del Fuoco or Fire Room is also worth a visit, featuring frescoes by Nicolò dell’Abate painted in 1546 depicting the war of Modena in 43 ACE, as well as the 17th-century Sala del Vecchio Consiglio, or Room of the Old Council, where you will find the seats of the Conservatori and the banner painted by Ludovico Lana in 1633 in gratitude for the end of the plague. The paintings on the ceiling are by Ercole dell’Abata and Bartolomeo Schedoni. The 18th-century canvases in the Sala degli Arazzi or Tapestry Room depict the drafting and signing of the Peace of Constance (1183), a “manifesto” of the city's independence.