The current building called Palazzo Ducale rises in its present form only at the end of the XVIII century . Up to this period the block between Corso dela Ghiara, Via S.Pietro Martire and via Berta consisted in the cloister of the nuns of S.Pietro Martire (founded in 1260); the part between Corso della Ghiara and Via Liberata consisted in an extremely fragmentary building fabric of medieval origin (terraced houses). On the 19th of May 1783 by decree of Duke Francis III the Monastery of St.Peter Martyr was suppressed.
On the 28th of July 1783 the Duke decided to have a Government Palace built at the expense of the City, residence of the Governor, the Commander of Arms and the Major of the Piazza. After various vicissitudes the choice fell on the suppressed Monastery and exactly on the part of the current centra courtyard, and the project is entrusted to Pietro Armani.
At the end of 1786 the palace could be considered finished and the following year the Commander of Arms entered it. With the Napoleonic occupation, starting from the Reign of Italy (4 May 1802) the Armani's palace was used as the residence of the Prefects. The Restoration led to an upturning use of the palace; in fact, the delegates of the City offered the Duke the Palace so that he could make it his residence during his stay in Reggio. The Duke took care to incorporate some private houses and he commissioned the architect Domenico Marchelli (1817) to a project of renovation of the palace with the formation of the internal garden and the design of a new facade up to the street of San Pietro Martire.
Between 1838 and 1845 on a project by Pietro Marchelli the building was subjected to a series of interventions that especially with the opening of the Via Santa Liberata, demolishing part of the ancient medieval fabric, leads to the current building set on three courts.
Other important works date back to the year 1911 when the oratory of S.Liberata was suppressed. It was the oratory founded in 1680 on the border with the Monastery and it overlooked Corso Garibaldi. The transformation works into the Ducal Palace sees it incorporated and destined to private chapel of the Duke. The works of 1911 lead to the current arrangement of the external and internal facades.
(ecerpts from "IL PALAZZO DUCALE" by Walter Baricchi-1989)