The exhibition halls of the Museums Building are located inside a building that was built between 1764 and 1771 at Francesco d’Este’s behest. It was originally the seat of the Ducal Arsenal. Then, it was first turned into a Hospice for the Poor designed by the court architect Pietro Termanini; later, in 1788, it was turned into Hotel of the Arts, with the setting up of factories. The Municipality of Modena bought the Building in 1881 to gather the city cultural institutions.
Currently, the Building contains:
– the Este’s Gallery
– the City Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology and the City Museum of Art
– the Este and University Library
– the Municipal Historic Archives and “Luigi Poletti” Library of History of Art
– the Este Epigraphic Museum, the Roman Lapidary of the city museums, Graziosi Gallery of plaster casts and Festival Filosofia Union.