Main Historic Buildings in Bologna
Palazzo D’Accursio – Among the historic buildings of Bologna
Located in Piazza Maggiore and seat of the Township offices of Bologna, Piazza Maggiore is the merger of a series of buildings that were aggregated throughout the centuries. The first of our stops between the historic buildings of Bologna takes the name after the famous jurist and law expert Accursio, who chose it as place of residence in the 13th century.
During the first half of the 14th century, the municipal building underwent extensive restructuring works with the addition of an astronomic clock on the tower, adorned by a carousel of wooden automata. During the 16th century, a double ramp of internal stairs designed by Bramante, one of the most famous Renaissance artist, was added to the building.
Palazzo Re Enzo or Palatium Novum
Built during the first half of the 13th century, Palazzo Re Enzo is one of the historic buildings of Bologna that can be admired from Piazza Maggiore.
Initially designed with the purpose to expand the pre-existing municipal buildings and for this reason also known as Palatium Novum, this historic building of Bologna is mainly remembered for the legends surrounding the figure of King Enzo of Sardinia, which was his dwelling imposed when jailed.
First prisoner in Anzola, Emilia, legend tells that the king would spend the nights isolated inside a cage hung to the ceiling, under constant surveillance. There are various tales on the escape attempts, among which, perhaps the most famous, which took place allegedly in a wooden basket intended to carry wine and that failed due to an old woman who recognised the king’s blond thick hair.
Among the historic buildings of Bologna rising at the city centre, there is also Palazzo Podestà, located beside the Palazzo Comunale and Basilica of San Petronio. Built around the 13th century, Palazzo Podestà was originally used as seat of the podestà and his officers, from which it takes the name.
Palazzo Podestà, among the most famous historic buildings of Bologna, consists of an architectural complex crossed by two roads at which intersection, it is possible to see the Torre dell’Arengo, which bell was calling the citizens in case of particular events. The Tower rises above the Voltone del Podestà, known as place anciently destined to hangings that could be seen from Piazza Maggiore.
Nowadays, the Voltone attracts the curiosity of tourists due to the particular sound of its walls: when talking at low voice facing one of the four corners, whoever stands in front one of the opposite corners can hear what the other person is saying.
Better known as Palazzo Fava-Ghisilieri, this historic building of Bologna is located in via Manzoni and hosts the Palazzo delle Esposizioni and its famous Caffè Letterario Carracci-Fava.
Despite being of ancient origin, the Fava family had possession of the building during the mid 16th century and, almost twenty years later, commissioned the Carracci brothers to decorate the halls of the noble floor with some tales from the Aeneid and a frieze dedicated to the myth of Jason.
In addition to the halls dedicated to important works by the Carracci brothers, the Palazzo delle Esposizioni, part of this historic building of Bologna, contains a series of exhibition areas where it is possible to view numerous works of modern and contemporary art.