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Here, in 1391, Agnese Visconti was decapitated at the age of 23.
She was the wife of Francesco Gonzaga, Fourth Captain of the People and the person responsible for building Castello di San Giorgio.
He had married the daughter of Bernabò in order to bring an end to the ongoing hostilities between Mantua and Milan.
When, in the latter, Gian Galeazzo Visconti overthrew his uncle, imprisoning him in the castle of Trezzo, Agnese became an encumbrance for the husband in his aspirations to create an alliance with the new Lord of Milan, Agnese's cousin and rival.
Accused of treason, she was killed after a staged trial, the records of which are kept at the State Archives in Mantua.
The presumed lover, Antonio de Scandiano, was hanged.
The inscription commemorating the sad event is attached to part of Palazzo Ducale that houses, on its noble floor, the fresco of the extraordinary chivalrous cycle painted by Antonio Pisano starting in 1433.
In medieval times, access to Palazzo Ducale was from this piazza.
It was moved to Piazza della Cattedrale as part of a large-scale refurbishment campaign that the Gonzaga residence underwent by will of the Habsburg government in the 1770s.
In the second half of the Sixteenth century, the Pallone area became, by extension, the subject of plans that turned it into the ideal location for jousting and equestrian events at the Court of the Gonzagas.
Piazza Martiri di Belfiore
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