Along the Via del Corso is the Piazza Colonna which takes its name from the impressive marble column of Marcus Aurelius that illustrates from top to bottom the emperor’s wars against the Sarmats and Germans. This has stood in this position since 193 CE and is a Roman Victory Column. On the top of the column stands a bronze statue of St Paul which was placed there by order of Pope Sixtus V in 1589. Standing on the north side of the piazza is the Palazzo Chigi which was formerly the embassy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, today it is a seat of the Italian goverment. Palazzo Chigi is the official residence of Prime Minister of Italy. On the east side is the Galleria Colonna, a 19th century shopping mall which was renamed Galleria Alberto Sordi in 2003. To the south is the Palazzo Ferraioli, once the papal post office , and the small church of Santi Bartolomeo ed Alessandro dei Bergamaschi (1731-35), and to the west side is the Palazzo Wedekind (1838) which is notable as the historic offices of the daily paper Il Tempo, with a colonnade of Roman columns. The fountain which stands in the Piazza was built in 1577 and was commissioned by Pope Gregory XIII, it was one of a group of sixteen fountains following the reconstruction of the Acqua Vergine. It was built to provide clean drinking water for the citizens of Rome.
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