In the second half of the 15th century, the Spaniards had yet again occupied the city of Bari. This had sparked a desire of resurgence that was reflected in the construction of the Seat of the Nobles in 1466. The building was erected upon the pre-existing church of Santa Maria della Misericordia, “St. Mary of Mercy” under the supervision of the architect Nicolantonio Buonafede. The building had been the seat of the municipal government up to 1601 when a blaze severely damaged it. The following year, it was restored, and resumed its role as a political and administrative centre up to the 18th century. Indeed, the building had housed the city chancellery, which attended to public affairs, as well as the city mayors and deputy marshals; the first used to take office there in the morning, while the latter, in the afternoon. The Handover Ceremonies between both mayors and deputy marshals were celebrated annually on 1st September (the beginning of the year according to Greek tradition), and were always full of pomp and elaborate street illuminations. The national parliament also met in the town hall, convened by the toll of the bell from St. Sabinus’s Cathedral. Consultations of the Royal Council representatives, i.e. the political power represented by the city governor (V. Melchiorre), were also held in the building.
At the beginning of the 19th century, the municipal government moved its offices to a nearby road that lead from Piazza Mercantile (Merchants’ Square) to St. Nicholas’s Basilica. This road has since been called Strada Palazzo di Città (Town Hall Road). The building, therefore, ceased to act as the Town Hall.
Subsequently, the building became the city’s first public theatre, even though it was doomed to shut down due to the opening of the Niccolò Piccinni Theatre. As a matter of fact, the public theatre eventually closed its doors in 1835 when, one evening, in the midst of a theatrical performance, the spectators left the theatre for fear that it might collapse. Palazzo del Sedile was ultimately sold to private owners.