The building we see today was not built in the 13th century but in the16th and 17th centuries. The original precincts built by Peter II “the Great” in the 13th century and altered and enlarged by Peter III “the Ceremonious” in the14th century, was directly affected by the construction of the port’s first dyke, which changed the coastal drift, causing a build up of sands and sediments on the northern part; whilst at the southern part sand was washed away. This affected the Dockyards, where the damage affecting the section in contact with the sea could be seen within a short time.
The decision was made to bring the building back from the coastline, demolishing the sections bordering the sea and rebuilding them inland, retaining only the two bays which form the present-day sea-front.
This provided an opportunity to build higher, with wider aisles, creating much the appearance the façade has today.
This great rebuilding work was carried out under the auspices of the Dip. del General, the institution then in charge of the use of the architectural complex, as borne out by their shields, which can be found on most of the columns in the building.
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