The Falconieri Palace was built in 1576 by the Odescalchi family. It originally had eight windows and a decentralised rustic ashlar entrance with the lily motifs of the Farnese family in the keystone and a cornice with the symbols of the Odescalchi family on the main facade. The building was later purchased by Mario Farnese in 1606 and was sold in 1638 to the Florentine Falconieri family, who came to Rome having become rich and powerful with the salt excise contracts. Between 1646 and 1649 Orazio Falconieri commissioned Borromini to enlarge the building by adding on the right of the main façade a blind, symmetrical and similar entrance to the original one on the left, and surmounted by a falcon – the symbol of the Falconieri family – and another three windows. The ends were decorated with two huge hermas with a falcon head and women’s breasts, perhaps alluding to the beauty of the Falconieri women. On the side towards the Tiber was added a new wing with a three-arched loggia ending in a banister adorned with two bifrontal hermas. When the Falconieri family died out in 1865, the palace was sold to the Medici del Vascello. In 1890, following construction work for the Tiber embankment walls, the side facing the river underwent considerable changes. Purchased by the Hungarian Vilmos Frankoi, the founder of the Historical-Geographical Institute, it was ceded to the Hungarian government in 1927. It has been the seat of the Academy of Hungary since 1928.
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