Palazzo d'Accursio (Municipal Palace), Bologna

Palazzo d'Accursio (Municipal Palace), Bologna

The grand structure towering over the western side of the Main Square ("Piazza Maggiore") is the Palazzo d'Accursio, also known as the Municipal Palace for having served as the city's Town Hall until 2008. Dating back to the 13th century, it was originally the residence of the renowned medieval lawyer, Accursius. Subsequently acquired by the city, the structure was extensively renovated as a symbol of papal authority. In 1530, just two days before his coronation as Emperor in the Basilica of Saint Petronius, Charles V was crowned King of Italy in the palace's chapel, where he received the Iron Cross of Lombardy. A temporary passageway was specially constructed for this event, connecting the palace to the Saint Petronius basilica across the Main Square.

Above the portal of the palace is a monumental bronze statue (1580) depicting Pope Gregory XIII, the Bolognese pope credited with reforming the old Roman calendar and introducing the Gregorian calendar still in use today. Positioned above and to the left of the entrance is a striking terracotta sculpture of the "Virgin and Child" (1478) crafted by the Italian sculptor Niccolò dell'Arca. Upon crossing the courtyard and ascending the splendid, corded staircases, visitors are greeted by frescoed interiors on the first and second floors. Remodeled by papal legates in the 16th century, these ceremonial halls offer fine views of the square. The Red Room ("Sala Rossa"), adorned with immense chandeliers, is a popular setting for civil ceremonies.

The numerous chambers of the Municipal Art Collections housed at the top of the palace exhibit Emilian artworks spanning from the 13th to 19th centuries. A visit there provides insight into the decor, furnishings, and artistic preferences during the era of papal governance.

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Palazzo d'Accursio (Municipal Palace) on Map

Sight Name: Palazzo d'Accursio (Municipal Palace)
Sight Location: Bologna, Italy (See walking tours in Bologna)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

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