At the entrance to Piazza Unità d’Italia, coming from Piazza della Borsa, where the Palazzo del Magistrato once stood,
in 1875 the Palazzo del Municipio was designed by the architect Giuseppe Bruni. The style of the facades is characterized by a mixture of Parisian style and Germanic mannerism.
The Palazzo initially did not appeal to the people of Trieste who nicknamed it “Cheba” palace, or “Cage” palace, due to the shape that resembles a huge cage for birds, but also “Sipario” palace, since with its imposing size it was able to hide the ruins and the ugliness of the houses of the Old Town that were behind it. The ground floor is made up of round arches that reproduce the idea of a portico, while on the upper floors there are numerous windows divided into mullioned windows and three-mullioned windows.
Composed of two lateral bodies of four floors in height, and a central body higher than one floor and characterized by the clock tower, on top of which two bronze Moors, nicknamed Micheze and Jacheze from Trieste (Their names derive from the Slovenian “Mihec” and “Jakec” which means Michael and James), mark the time every quarter of an hour. The first twelve chimes of noon were heard on January 14, 1876.
The two statues recall the two Moors installed in 1517 on the Clock Tower, also called Torre del Porto, or Torre del Mandracchio which was the door to the square (then Piazza Grande or Piazza San Pietro) which overlooked the ancient port of the city .
Currently on the Town Hall tower are two copies of the original statues found at the entrance to the castle of San Giusto.