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Palazzo d'Accursio o Comunale

Piazza Maggiore, 6 - 40121 Bologna (BO)

Phone + 39 051 203040

Reference maps: D-4

Date of last update: 20/08/2018, 10:24

The Palazzo Comunale (Town Hall) consists of a series of buildings, which over the centuries, have gradually been adjoined to an older core acquired by the Municipality at the end of the 13th century. This includes the home of Accursio, a master of law in the Bolognese Studio.  It was initially intended to conserve public grain reserves and to house some municipal offices; since when in 1336 it became the residence of the Elders, the highest magistrates of the Municipality Government; it is the seat of the city government.

Renovated and enlarged in the first half of the fifteenth century with the intervention of the architect Fioravante Fioravanti, it was then enriched with a clock in the tower of Accursio and, according to examples common in central Europe, a carousel with wooden automata (Madonna with Child and the court of Magi). It was removed in 1796 (some of this still remains, which is now maintained at the Municipal Art Collections located on the second floor).

The façade, where the Madonna with Child by Niccolò dell'Arca is located (1478), is already laden with gold and polychrome. It remained there for a few years as the image of Julius II (destroyed in 1511 during the time of an attempt to return the Bentivoglio to the city). It was enhanced in the mid-16th century with the beautiful portal of Galeazzo Alessi, which in 1580 was placed above the large bronze statue of Pope Gregory XIII (pontiff of the Bolognese Boncompagni family), due to the efforts of sculptor Alessandro Menganti.

You can visit the interior of the complex, climbing the 16th century coronate staircase traditionally attributed to Bramante and originally conceived for the triumphal rise of the representatives of the city government, on horseback; including a succession of rooms-loggia and chapels.

Sala d'Ercole (Hall of Hercules)

Sala del Senato ora Sala del Consiglio Comunale (Senate Hall now the Municipal Council Hall)

Sala Regia poi Farnese (Management Hall then Farnese)

Cappella del Legato o Farnese (Chapel of the Legate or Farnese)

The halls of this palace date back to the following centuries.
On the first floor the Sala Rossa (Red Hall)


On the second floor, inside the winter apartment of the cardinal legates, now home to the Municipal Art Collections, you can find the Sala Urbana (Urban Hall).  Dedicated in 1630 to Pope Urban VIII, it displays a gallery of coats of arms of the legates, vice legates and governors who succeeded one another in Bologna between 1327 and 1744.  
At Piazza Nettuno (Neptune Square), instead, the Sala Borsa (Stock Exchange Hall) entrance is located in the area occupied by the botanical garden, or the simple garden, created in 1568 by Ulisse Aldrovandi, just adjacent to the summer apartment of the cardinal legate.  After several uses in 1883 through 1886, it was transformed into a stock exchange hall with the construction of a cast iron and glass pavilion, which was then raised to a second level in the following century.  Since December 2001, it has hosted the Civic Multimedia Library.

The top floor of the building now houses the Collezioni Comunali d'Arte (Civic Museum of Municipal Art Collections).

Until November 2012 the Palazzo also housed the Morandi Museum, temporarily transferred to the MAMbo - Museum of Modern Art of Bologna, at Via Don Minzoni No. 14.

by bus: lines and timetables on the website www.tper.it
by car: located in restricted traffic zone ZTL. Ring road exits n. 11/11bis-12 direction city center.

admission is free except for Collezioni Comunali d'Arte (Museo Morandi temporarily transfered to MAMbo)

Sala Rossa - Sala d'Ercole - Sala Farnese and Cappella Palatina: visits on request, when available (ask to the guardians); Sala del Consiglio Comunale: from Tuesday to Thursday + Saturday and Sunday 10.00am -1.00pm, Monday and Friday closed; Collezioni Comunali D'Arte, Appartamenti del Cardinale Legato: see information on museums. Ex Sala Borsa: Entrance from Piazza Nettuno:  Monday from 2,30pm to 8pm; from Tuesday to Friday: 10am - 8pm (last admission at 7,45 pm), Saturday 10am - 7pm (last admission at 6,45 pm). Closing days: Mondays morning and holidays. Details (in Italian) Archaeological excavations under Piazza Coperta are open to the public on Monday from 3pm to 6,30pm; from Tuesday to Saturday: 10am - 1,30pm and 3pm - 6,30pm. Closing days: Mondays morning and holidays (they can always be seen from the glass floor in the Covered Square). From 30 July to 15 August 2018 Salaborsa will be closed for restoration works. More info and updates

Palazzo D'Accursio