Palazzo Poggi

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Template:Infobox building The Palazzo Poggi is a palazzo in Via Zamboni 33, Bologna, Italy. It is the headquarters of the University of Bologna and of the rector of the university.


The Palazzo Poggi was built as the home of Alessandro Poggi and his brother the future Cardinal Giovanni Poggi.Template:Sfn The building was erected between 1549 and 1560.Template:Sfn The design of the Palazzo Poggi has been attribured to Bartolomeo Triachini.Template:Sfn He was apparently given the commission for the Palazzo Poggi by the Bishop Giovanni Poggi shortly before he was elevated to Cardinal.Template:SfnTemplate:Efn Other sources attribute the design of the Palazzo Poggi to Pellegrino Tibaldi.Template:Sfn Cardinal Poggi met Pellegrino Tibaldi after the painter moved to Rome in 1547, and later commissioned him to paint the Palazzo Poggi.Template:Sfn Tibaldi, a native of Bologna, returned to the city in 1555 and painted frescos for the Cardinal in the palace and the family chapel. The frescoes are considered Tibaldi's masterpiece.Template:Sfn

In 1714 the Palazzo Poggi became the House of the Instituto dell Scienze of Bologna.Template:Sfn The Institute of Sciences was founded by Luigi Ferdinando Marsili. The Tower Observatory (La Specola) was built between 1712 and 1725. The library was built in 1744 following designs by Giuseppe Antonio Torri and Carlo Francesco Dotti. The collection of images was begun in 1754. The monumental Great Hall of the institute was added to the north side of the palace in the eighteenth century, opened in 1756.

The Institute of Science was a model learning establishment in Europe during the Age of Enlightenment and a key part of the University of Bologna. It enjoyed the protection of the Bolognese Pope Pope Benedict XIV (Prospero Lorenzo Lambertini). During the Napoleonic period, scientific equipment from the Institute was dispersed among different faculties (anatomy, optics, chemistry, geography, nautical science, physics, astronomy) and the historical collections were scattered in various museums. Only the library remained in the Palazzo Poggi, to form the nucleus of the future university library.

The Palazzo is now one of the main buildings of the University of Bologna.Template:Sfn At the end of the twentieth century, a cultural project was promoted by the University to return and gather the dispersed collections back to their historic home.

Layout and usage

The current appearance of the Palazzo Poggi, with a large courtyard with loggia and a large staircase to the piano nobile is due to the interventions by Cardinal Giovanni Poggi. Mural decorations are by Prospero Fontana, Pellegrino Tibaldi, Niccolò dell'Abbate, Nosadella and Ercole Procaccini the Elder. On the ground floor there is a hall dedicated to the poet Giosuè Carducci, the Aula Carducci, in which the poet gave lectures on the Italian language and literature for 40 years. Also on the ground floor there is the Hercules Room, holding a statue of the mythological hero sculpted by Angelo Piò in 1730. The palace also houses various university museums, the university rector, the Bologna University Library and the picture gallery, with over 600 fine portraits.

Museum collections

  • Natural history
    • Ulisse Aldrovandi Museum
    • Collections of Luigi Ferdinando Marsili
    • Diluvian Museum of the Institute of Science
  • Anatomy and obstetrics
    • Obstetrics School
    • Anatomical wax models of Ercole Lelli
    • Anatomical wax models of Giovanni Manzolini and Anna Morandi Manzolini.
    • The Venerina of Clemente Susini
  • Physics and chemistry
    • Light and optics
    • Electricity
  • Geography room
  • Military Architecture
  • Library of the Institute of Science
  • Gallery of ships


Notes and references

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