Museo Civico Medievale
The museum opened in 1985 in the Palazzo Ghisilardi-Fava. The Palazzo was built as a noble residence towards the end of the 15th century and is one of the most important and beautiful examples of Bolognese architecture of the Bentivoglio period. However, the history of the building may be considered more antique. The Palace is built over a part of the city whose many layers of ancient artefacts were brought to light during recent restoration. Remains have been found ageing from Roman times to parts of the ancient Imperial castle destroyed in 1115, and to the tower of the Conoscenti family which was incorporated into the construction of the palace. The building is therefore strongly linked to the history of the city as are the various collections. Many of these inheritances and collections date back to the 17th century: from Marquis Cospi's collection of curiosities (17th century) to the Institute of Science (1714), and the Bolognese artist Pelagio Palagi's donation (1861) and on to the foundation of the "Museo Civico".
The most important part of the museum is dedicated to the Medieval Period from the most antique artefacts of the Medieval Age (7th-9th centuries), to the great statue of Bonifacio VIII in gold-plated copper on wood, carried out by the Senese goldsmith Manno Bandini in 1301 for the "Palazzo Pubblico". Nearby you can see the great English cope embroidered at the beginning of the l4th century, one of the most significant of the Opus Anglicanum, from the S. Domenico Church. A museum so deeply rooted in the history of the city could not avoid a direct reference to the ancient University. In fact, there are many funeral sculptures dedicated to the teachers of the "Studio" (l4th-15th century), in which a strong will to praise is combined with the expressiveness of the local Gothic culture.
Other important 15th and 16th century sculptures (Iacopo della Quercia, Francesco del Cossa and Vincenzo Onofri) illustrate the development of Renaissance Art of which the museum contains many examples, particularly in the section of bronzes. Here is the model of Giambologna's famous Neptune, designed for Piazza Maggiore, a masterpiece of l6th century plastic. The Museum also displays beautiful collections of arms (of particular interest the 16th century jousting armour), ivories and glasses, with 15th and 16th century masterpieces from Murano. Particularly interesting is the new illuminated manuscript's section (1995) formed by many important l3th-16th century Bolognese masterpieces.