Leaning against the municipal walls, the grandiose Palazzo della Gran Guardia, with its elegant staircase, dominates Piazza Bra.
The building was built in two different historical phases: it flourished in the full Baroque period, during the first half of the 1600s, when it was designed to counterbalance the Arena.
Designed to allow troops to be reviewed indoors, even on bad weather days; started in 1610 by Domenico Curtoni (relative and disciple of Michele Sanmicheli), the works were suspended due to lack of funds and were completed around the middle of the 19th century. by Giuseppe Barbieri. The lower floor is rusticated (many stones selected from the Arena) and has a thirteen-arched portico; on the noble floor there are some large windows, separated by paired columns, with alternating triangular and curvilinear frontispieces; It is currently used as a congress and exhibition centre.