This grand 18th-century convent was completed by two separate architects, something which can be spotted within architectural features. Around 100 years after it was completed, the Palazzo took on a civic function which it continues today as Matera's library.
Originally built as a convent by architect Vito Valentino for the Dominican Sisters in 1735, but after a dispute, a new architect, Mauro Manieri, was appointed. Looking carefully at the walls and the vaults of the building the change of architect can be spotted. For example, the difference can be seen in the texture of the walls and vaults. The original project, the monastic complex by Valentino, substantially reflects the current structure with the church at the centre and the spatial organisation of the monastery around it.
The changes introduced by Manieri can only be seen in the four side-windows, for which he provided the workers with the design of windows similar to those of his works in Lecce.
In 1747 the nuns moved into the new monastery, but without the church. Even if the complex is unfinished, what emerges is the dimension of the facade. Just over a century later the nuns finally decided to build the church to finish the monastic complex. They enlisted engineer Gaetano di Giorgio to build the Annunciation Church in the central courtyard In 1844. With the unification of Italy in 1861, the monastery was vacated and the property transferred to the municipality.
Soon after, in 1865, it became a court then a college. Today the building is used as a library, cafe, and cinema - the cafe roof terrace has an amazing view of the city.