Opening hours: Sala Rossa – Sala d’Ercole – Sala Farnese and Cappella Palatina: can be visited if free, Sala del Consiglio Comunale from tuesday to sunday 10.00 -13.00, Collezioni Comunali D’Arte, Appartamenti del Cardinale Legato: tue. – fri. 09:00 – 18:30; Sat. – Sun. – festivities 10:00 – 18:30 Closing day: Monday Closing period: 25th of december, 1st of january and 1st of may”. Free entry, except rooms inside the Collezioni Comunali d’Arte (Museo Morandi temporarily transferred to MAMbo)
Palazzo D’Accursio in Bologna has been the seat of the city government since 1336. It is one of the most important monumental buildings of the Emilia-Romagna capital. The house of the law master Accursio belonged to the oldest nucleus, from which the other name of Palazzo d’Accursio is taken.
The palace, purchased by the Council in the 13th century and recognizable in the portico side surmounted by the later clock tower, is an aggregate of buildings of different ages. In addition to the mighty tower, from 1365 a fortification was built which enclosed a large area (equal to the present one), incorporating some pre-existing towers in the perimeter. More structures were added to this to form two large inner courtyards that extend along the Neptune Square. On the sixteenth-century entrance portal sits the bronze statue of Pope Gregory XIII, born in Bologna.
On the second floor of the Palazzo d’Accursio, in the rooms which were formerly the residence of the papal legates, the Municipal Art Collections are exhibited since 1936. The Sala Boschereccia, a fine example of landscape decorations, commonly used in the Napoleonic era, is a must see.
Palazzo d’Accursio also houses the Museo Morandi. It is the largest collection of works of art by the master of Bologna. 254 masterpieces that allow you to retrace the stages of his artistic research.
Palazzo d’Accursio in Bologna is now the seat of the town hall, but the council offices have been moved to a new location to make the palace available to citizens as a cultural center. Within this project, which redesigned the building’s spaces, a large multimedia library was built on the ground floor at Sala Borsa, opposite the Neptune Fountain. Beneath the glass floor, Roman ruins are visible, perhaps pertinent to the Bononia forum.
Curiosity: the horses’ great staircase
It’s one of the symbols of palazzo d’Accursio, covered at least once by all citizens.
The so-called horses’ great staircase is one of the accesses to the noble floor of the council. Fortunately not the only one (today there are also normal stairs and elevators). However, this majestic staircase, whose construction is attributed to the famous architect Donato Bramante, is certainly the most significant. It was built in 1587 for the horses that drove the carriages so they could get to the apartments of what was at that time the governor of the city, that is, the papal legate.
In recent years, it has become the ideal setting at the end of weddings in the town hall. The spouses descend with care, from the great staircase at the end of which the guests are waiting for them for the traditional throwing of rice. Moreover, it is now a custom for the newly elected mayor to take possession of his office going up to the first floor of the palace from Bramante’s great staircase.
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