From March 18 to July 17, Museo Civico Medievale hosts the exhibition Bologna 1116. Dalla Rocca imperiale alla città del Comune (Bologna 1116. From the Imperial citadel to the town of Comune). The exhibit shows some of the social and art aspects of Bologna at the beginning of its political and cultural organization.
Visitors can admire some interesting artefacts dating back to the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries, and coming both from the museum collection and from important loans: sculptures, weapons, jewelleries, documents, illuminations and textiles. The city of the Quattro Croci (Four Crosses) and the Rocca Imperiale(Imperial fortress) are of great interest. Bologna inhabitants destroyed the fortress in 1115, just after the death of Matilde di Canossa, the Imperial Vicar of Tuscany and Po valley cities.
This Imperial citadel, whose selenite ruins can still be partially seen on the wall of Palazzo Ghisilardi (the museum venue), housed Matilde’s officers - the counts of Bologna, who went against the political and economic development of the city towards its municipal autonomy.
While the “Lotta per le Investiture” (the investiture fight) was on, in 1116 the Emperor Henry V stopped the rebellion of the Bolognesi by means of a “diploma” that indirectly helped the achievement of the Comune. This charter traditionally marks the origin of the Comune di Bologna and the exhibition features the original document in the “Registro Grosso del Comune di Bologna”. On show also a fragments of textile from Modena Art museum collections (Museo Civico d’Arte), and a precious miter (Museo di Castel Sant’Elia, Viterbo), both dating of the 12th century, as well as two scale models of the ancient Imperial citadel.
Other sections of the exhibition trace the different steps of the Comune, from the first consul rulers in 1123 to the opening of Piazza Maggiore (1200-1201), the town expansion, and the release of serfs promulgated in 1256 with the famous Liber Paradisus, which is exhibited on this occasion.
A special section is also dedicated to the history of Studium(University) from Irnerio and the Fake privilege of Theodosius II (thought to have existed since 423, but really dating back to 1225-1230) to the monuments of the “doctors” in the museum.
Bologna 1116. Dalla Rocca imperiale alla città del Comune is part of Concives 1116-2016, the programme of celebrations for the 900th anniversary of Comune di Bologna foundation, and is organized by Museo Civico Medievale/Istituzione Bologna Musei, and curated by Massimo Medica and Giancarlo Benevolo