The Church of San Michele in Bosco is an impressive building including both the church and the nearby convent once belonging to the Olivetans. It is located on one of the Colli Bolognesi (the Bolognese Hills) and from its churchyard the whole city can be seen.
In the past the old church underwent many changes: it was rebuilt during the Middle Ages, reshaped during the 15th century and then renovated by the Olivetans (who moved here for the first time in 1364) between 1517 and 1523. The building also served different purposes: during the napoleonic era it was used as barracks first and then as a prison. Then it was used as a residence first by the Papal legate and then by the King of Italy. Moreover, just before the end of the 19th century, it became the headquarters of the Rizzoli Hospital and here some important orthopedists of the Institute Rizzoli were buried.
The Renaissance façade was designed by the architect Biagio Rossetti from Ferrara and the marble entrance by Baldassarre Peruzzi from Siena (1522). The two-floor building (one floor for believers and the other for the monks) is enriched with precious paintings and sculptures dating back to the 16th and the 17th century. In the building the sacristy and the choir, surrounded by magnificent frescoes of the 16th century, can be seen, along with the evocative octagonal cloister of the 16th century, enriched with the famous paintings by the Carracci family, partly lost. In the presbytery, the door on the right leads to the long corridor of the ancient monastery, known as “Cannocchiale di Bologna” (the telescope of Bologna), because thanks to an optical effect, you can almost touch the Asinelli tower.
Source: Curia Arcivescovile and Le Chiese di Bologna (L'Inchiostroblu)
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