The fortified residence of the prince-bishops, who enjoyed considerable power and autonomy within the medieval hierarchy, was built in the 13th century and situated so as to seem like a wing of the Duomo. The remarkable palazzo has lost none of its original splendor. The crenellations are not merely decorative: the square pattern represents ancient allegiance to the Guelphs (the triangular crenellations seen elsewhere in town represent Ghibelline loyalty). The palazzo now houses the Museo Diocesano Tridentino, where you can see paintings showing the seating plan of the prelates during the Council of Trent; early-16th-century tapestries by Pieter van Aelst (1502–56), the Belgian artist who carried out Raphael's 15th-century designs for the Vatican tapestries; carved wood altars and statues; and an 11th-century sacramentary, or book of services. These and other precious objects all come from the cathedral's treasury. Accessible through the museum, a subterranean archaeological area reveals the 1st-century Roman Porta Veronensis, which marked the road to Verona.
Piazza del Duomo 18, Trento, Trentino-Alto Adige, 38100, Italy