Piazza dei Martiri was originally named after King Umberto I. It was built in 1889 when this area was still mostly rural; as a matter of fact, here there were the ancient gardens first belonging to the Poeti and then to the Garagnani families. In 1945 tha square was given its current name, Piazza dei Martiri, to homage people died in fighting Nazis and Fascists during WWII.
Piazza dei Martiri is located near the train station and near some of the busiest areas of Bologna, thus becoming a crucial point in the city. The building which used to host Seminario Regionale Benedetto XV (Benedict XV Regional Religious School) looks out onto the square. In 1965 the school moved to the hill area of Barbiano.