Palazzo Comunale - Town Hall, Bologna

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Piazza Maggiore, 6

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  • Palazzo Comunale - Town Hall
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    Palazzo Comunale
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    Palazzo Comunale
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    Municipal Art Collection at the Bologna Town Hall

    by von.otter Updated Oct 21, 2014

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    Founded in 1936, Il Palazzo Comunale di Bologna le Collezioni Comunali d’arte (Bologna’s Municipal Art Collection) is located in what was once the winter apartments of the Cardinal Papal Legates on the first floor of Palazzo Comunale. The rooms are decorated with friezes and ceiling paintings from the sixteenth to the early nineteenth century. This is a major collection of paintings, furniture, furnishings, house hold goods, from major donations made to the City of Bologna primarily during the nineteenth and early twentieth century.

    Take note of “Genius” (see photo #5) by Giacomo de Maria (1762-1838), a Bolognese Neoclassical sculptor. This 1797 work stands in an elaborate presentation piece at the far end of the Galleria Vidoniana, Room #4, in the Collezioni Comunali d'Arte.

    Opening hours, Tuesday to Friday: 9.00 am to 6.30 pm; Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays: 10.00 am to 6.30 pm

    Neptune, Municipal Art Collection, Bologna, 5/2010 Neptune, Municipal Art Collection, Bologna, 5/2010 Neptune, Municipal Art Collection, Bologna, 5/2010 Lectern, Municipal Art Collection, Bologna, 5/2010 Municipal Art Collection, Bologna, 5/2010
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    Palazzo d'Accursio detto Comunale

    by croisbeauty Updated Feb 18, 2013

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    Palazzo d'Accursio originally was the residence of the jurist Accurssius. In 1336 it became the seat of the "Anziani" (Elder) the higest magistrates of the commune and then the seat a city government. In the 15th century it was restored by the Italian architect Fioravante Fioravanti who added the clock tower (Torre d'Accursio). Over the portal is a large bronze statue of the Bolognese Pope Gregory XIII, from 1580.
    The construction of this imposing building was carried out throughout several years by uniting different buildings.
    The building looks like a castle whose walls construction began early in 1336. On the facade there is the "terracotta" (earthenware).
    Inside the building there are two lovely courtyards "Cortile d'Onore", the courtyard for the guest of honour while visiting Bologna, while the second one is "La Cisterna".
    The palace is home of the Civic Art Collection with paintings from the Middle Ages to the 19th century. It also houses the Museo Morandi, with the works of Italian painter Giorgio Morandi, donated to the commune by his family.

    Palazzo Comunale Palazzo Comunale Palazzo Comunale Cortile d'Onore Cortile di Palazzo Comunale
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    Palazzo Comunale 2

    by croisbeauty Updated Feb 10, 2013

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    The part of the Palace that ovelooks Piazza del Nettuno is covered with tablets in memory of those who died while defending the town. Palazzo Comunale is very huge building which occupies large space, the side that overlooks via Ugo Bassi is turned into the museum. It is where a beautiful fountain "Fontana Vecchia" is located, work of Tommaso Laureati from 1565.
    In the side which overlooking Via IV Novembre is incorporated Torre Lapi, right into the walls of Palazzo Comunale complex. Torre Lapi dates back to 1359. Under Napoleonic rule in Bologna, the tower was reduced almost by half, that could be 30 meters, to the current 18.

    Palazzo Comunale Palazzo Comunale Fontana Vecchia Palazzo Comunale

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    Palazzo Comunale: Pope Gregory XIII Bronze

    by von.otter Updated Apr 26, 2011

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    “Gregory XIII, Hugo Buoncompagno of Bologna, who had raised himself to eminence as a jurist and in the civil service, was cheerful and lively in disposition.”
    — from “The History of the Popes, Their Church and State” 1853 by Leopold von Ranke (1795-1886)

    Above the entrance gate to Palazzo Comunale is a 1580 bronze of the Bologna’s native son, Gregory XIII. Alessandro Menganti created the likeness of this reforming pope between 1576 and 1580. It was saved from France’s invading, destructive, anti-papal Grande Armée when Bologna’s citizens disguised it to resemble their patron saint, San Petronio.

    Ugo Boncompagni was born on the 7th of January 1502, in Bologna. He studied law, and later taught at Bologna’s university; his students included a future cardinal, Alexander Farnese and a future saint, Charles Borromeo. Cardinal Boncompagni was called to Rome in 1539 by Pope Paul III, who him employed in various offices.

    Following his election to the throne of St. Peter, Cardinal Boncompagni chose the name Gregory XIII, in honor of Pope Gregory I, in whose footsteps he planned to follow as a reformer of the church.

    Gregory XIII is best known for giving the world a new calendar, the Gregorian Calendar vs. the old Roman Julian Calendar.

    Pope Gregory XIII; Bologna, May 2010 Pope Gregory XIII; Bologna, May 2010 Pope Gregory XIII; Bologna, May 2010 Pope Gregory XIII; Bologna, May 2010 Pope Gregory XIII; Bologna, May 2010
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    Municipal Art Collection, Bologna Town Hall Part 2

    by von.otter Updated Oct 19, 2010

    “Bolognese, it is a rough and chopped, horrible dialect.”
    — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

    Founded in 1936, Bologna’s Municipal Art Collection is located in what was once the winter apartments of the Cardinal Papal Legates, with friezes and ceiling paintings from the sixteenth to the early nineteenth century. This is a major collection of paintings, furniture, furnishings, house hold goods, from major donations made to the City of Bologna primarily during the nineteenth and early twentieth century.

    In Room #5, take note of the large group of crucifixes (see photo #4) carved and painted in the Middle Ages, the majority of which, prior to 1936, was included in the Medieval section of the Civic Museum at Palazzo Galvani, opened in 1882. Some of these crucifixes were carved/painted by known masters, but whose names are not known such as the Master of the Franciscan Crucifixes, the Master of Arquà. While others were created by named artists, including Vitale da Bologna, Jacopo di Paolo, Barnaba da Modena, Alvar Pirez.

    Whenever a museum occupies a former castle or palace, I always advise visitors to look up; some of the best art is on the ceilings (see photos #1, #2, #3 & #5). The rooms of the palaces were richly decorated for their important owners. LOOK UP!

    Bologna���s Municipal Art Collection, May 2010 Bologna���s Municipal Art Collection, May 2010 Bologna���s Municipal Art Collection, May 2010 Bologna���s Municipal Art Collection, May 2010 Bologna���s Municipal Art Collection, May 2010
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    Palazzo Comunale: Michelangelo’s Eagle

    by von.otter Updated Oct 19, 2010

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    “Carving is easy, you just go down to the skin and stop.”
    — Michelangelo (1475-1564)

    Two marble eagles sit beneath a window of Palazzo Comunale; the left-hand bird was carved by Michelangelo.

    Palazzo Comunale, Michelangelo���s Eagle, May 2010 Palazzo Comunale, Michelangelo���s Eagle, May 2010 Palazzo Comunale, Michelangelo���s Eagle, May 2010
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    Palazzo Comunale, Madonna del Terremoto

    by von.otter Written Oct 18, 2010

    “Once or twice wandering about Bologna while my friends were at the Congress of Philosophers, I caught a glimpse . . . (or was it rather one of those sounds whose hearing is partly one of expectation?)—I caught, shall we say, the ghost of a mood; almost an emotion of forty years ago.”
    — “Dark, Many-Towered Bologna” 1922 by Vernon Lee (1856–1935)

    On the right-hand wall of Sala Ercole is a fresco known as the Madonna del Terremoto, Madonna of the Earthquake. Madonna con bambino appear in glory, blessing Bologna, its walls and many towers beneath them. Fascinating: to be in Bologna of the early 16th century. Francesco Francia’s fresco was painted for the nearby Elders’ Chapel in fulfillment of a vow made when the city was struck by an earthquake in 1505, the same year the fresco was painted; it was moved to Sala Ercole in the 19th century.

    The city’s art collection above is also on view at Palazzo Comunale.

    Madonna del Terremoto, Bologna, May 2010 Madonna del Terremoto, Bologna, May 2010 Madonna del Terremoto, Bologna, May 2010
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    Hercules at Palazzo Comunale

    by von.otter Written Oct 18, 2010

    “Bologna, where I stayed ten days, is next to Rome in regard to fine paintings.”
    — from a letter, dated 23.March.1771, written by Mr. John Gray to Dr. Tobias Smollett

    FINE PAINTING, FINE SCULPTURE In Sala Ercole, on the first floor of Palazzo Comunale, was once the dining hall; it retains its Renaissance look. Alfonso Lombardi’s 1519 terracotta sculpture at the far end gives the hall its name. Painted in mock bronze, it shows a victorious Hercules after killing the Hydra of Lerna.

    Hercules at Palazzo Comunale, May 2010 Hercules at Palazzo Comunale, May 2010 Hercules at Palazzo Comunale, May 2010 Hercules at Palazzo Comunale, May 2010 Hercules at Palazzo Comunale, May 2010
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    Palazzo Comunale: Madonna di Piazza

    by von.otter Updated Oct 15, 2010

    Sheltered under a wooden canopy, to the left of the main entrance to the Palazzo Comunale, sits Niccolò dell’Arca’s 1478 “Madonna con bambino.” This high-relief work is known as Madonna di Piazza. Created in terracotta and formerly gilded and polychromed it was placed where a portrait of Pope Julius II once hung.

    Madonna di Piazza, Bologna, May 2010 Madonna di Piazza, Bologna, May 2010
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    Palazzo Comunale

    by von.otter Updated Oct 15, 2010

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    “Proceed next southward into the Piazza just named, and observe, Palazzo Maggiore fronting it on the west, the Palazzo Maggiore, the residence of the Papal Legate, and of the Senator of Bologna, with a bronze statue of Pope Gregory XIII in a niche on its front.”
    — from “Handbook for Travelers in Northern Italy” 1860 by John Murray

    WHAT’S IN A NAME? What Mr. Murray calls Palazzo Maggiore is Palazzo Comunale or Palazzo d’Accursio, Bologna’s city hall until November 2008. It borders the 161,458-square-foot Piazza Maggiore, the city’s main square.

    Palazzo d’Accursio houses the Civic Art Collection, displaying art work from the Middle Ages to the 19th century. The Museo Morandi, with the works by Giorgio Morandi donated to the city by his family, is also located within Palazzo d’Accursio.

    Palazzo d’Accursio is a huge complex of buildings which have been connected over the years, originally it was the residence of Accorso di Bagnolo (1182-1263), an Italian jurist. In 1336 it became the seat of the Anziani, the Elders, the city’s highest magistrates; it then became the city hall. It was renovated in the 15th century by Fioravante Fioravanti, when the Clock Tower (see photo #4) added. Another round of restorations were made in the 16th century.

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    Museums of The Palazzo Communale

    by Maria81 Written Jan 3, 2010

    Collezioni Comunali d'Arte

    On the second floor of the Palazzo Communale, it features paintings, sculpture and furniture, all predominantly dating from the 13th to the 19th centuries

    Museo Morandi

    Dedicated to (predictably) Giorgio Morandi, who was a local, it features over 200 of his classic works

    Practicalities

    Entrance to both museums is free

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    Palazzo d'Accursio

    by MM212 Updated Aug 2, 2009

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    Bologna's city hall for centuries, the magnificent Palazzo d'Accursio is a patchwork of buildings and architectural styles. Also known as Palazzo Communale, the city hall was first constructed in the late 13th century overlooking Piazza Maggiore. Neighbouring buildings were later acquired and adjoined to the main edifice, which also functioned as a stock exchange. Further renovations resulted in the construction of the clock tower, la Torre d'Accursio (15th century), and the addition of sculptures on the façade, such as those of the Madonna and Child by Niccolò dell'Arca (15th century) and of Pope Gregory XIII by Alessandro Menganti (16th century). Nowadays, the northern half of the building is a public library, Biblioteca Sala Borsa, whose glass floors reveal architectural remains from the Roman period. The other half of the palazzo houses a couple of museums, with a rich collection European art, and showcases several grand halls with stunning frescoes. For more photos of its exterior and interior, take a look at the Travelogues: "Palazzo d'Accursio Architecture" and "Palazzo d'Accursio - Interior."

    Elegant Gothic Architecture, Apr 2009 Palazzo e Torre d'Accursio, Apr 2009 Sculptures: Madonna and Child, Pope Gregory XIII The back fa��ade of Palazzo Comunale, Apr 2009
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    Palazzo Comunale

    by Tijavi Updated Dec 22, 2008

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    To the west of Basilica di San Petronio on Piazza Maggiore is the Palazzo Comunale, which still retains its original medieval function, that is, housing the city council. Architecturally, it is a hodgepodge of different styles owing the various remodelings in the 15th and 16th centuries. Still, the palazzo's distinguishing feature is the huge statue of one of Bologna's most famous sons, Pope Gregory XIII who was the man behind the Gregorian calendar. Inside, the grand staircase was designed by Donato Bramante, which was a symbol ingenuity in that it had enough room to allow horse-drawn carriages to go up to the first floor.

    Palazzo Comunale Palazzo Comunale from Torre degli Asinelli Image of Gregory XIII
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    Palazzo Comunale

    by darkjedi Updated Nov 1, 2008

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    The construction of this impressive building was carried out over many years by joining together many different buildings into one larger one. The largest part of the Palazzo Comunale is the Palazzo d'Accursio, topped with a clock tower.

    Three important works of art are on the façade of the palace: the Madonna di Piazza by Nicolò dell'Arca, the statue of Pope Gregory XIII and an eagle attributed to Michelagelo.

    The second floor of the Palazzo d'Accursio contains both the Collezione Comunale d'Arte and the Museo Morandi, which hold pieces of art and furniture from the 1400s to the 1800s

    The palace is open to the public where visitors can see the council chamber, halls and an art collection

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    Palazzo Comunale

    by mikey_e Written Aug 27, 2007

    The Palazzo Comunale is not, strictly speaking, a Palazzo. That is, it is not one single building but rather a collection of Palazzi built at different dates and amalgamated into one structure for the use of the Comune (municipality). The entrance way (the second picture) has a sculpture of Pope Gregory XIII and was completed in 1580 by Menganti. Pope Gregory XIII was originally from Bologna and reformed the calendar of the Western Church. The rest of the entrance was completed earlier, in 1555 by Alessi. The largest component of the Palazzo Comunale is the Palazzo d'Accursio, at the southernmost point of the building, topped with a clock tower. The Palazzo d'Accursio was built sometime before 1287, the date at which the city of Bologna acquired it from d'Accursio, who had just returned from the court of Edward I of England. It was amalgamated with other structures to form the town hall in 1336 and the rest of the building (everything north of the entrance) ws built in 1425-28 by Fieravante Fieravanti. The papal legates had it fortified in the 1500s and the clock was added in 1773. The second floor of the Palazzo d'Accursio contains both the Collezione Comunale d'Arte and the Museo Morandi, which hold pieces of art and furniture from the 1400s to the 1800s. The Museo Morandi is named after Giorgio Morandi, a 20th century artist native to Bologna. Many of his works are represented in the museum.

    Palazzo Comunale and Palazzo d'Accursio Entrance and Pope Gregory XII
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