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Old June 16th, 2019, 09:00 PM   #461
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Old June 16th, 2019, 09:04 PM   #462
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I continue westwards and am soon led again to Via Castiglione, where I encounter the 15th-century Palazzo Zagnoni Spada. Despite the simple lines of its façade, the palace has the peculiarity of following a curve of the street, attributable to the ancient Savena Canal that originally ran through it. Also remarkable is the portico with its unusual checkered floor, its large windows, and its sophisticated stucco tabernacles housing icons, among which a beautiful 14th-century Madonna:

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Old June 16th, 2019, 09:05 PM   #463
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A little below is the monumental brick façade of the deconsecrated church of Santa Lucia, originally from the 5th century, but rebuilt in its current form in the 16th century by the Jesuits, who also redecorated the interior in Baroque style to recall their mother church in Rome (the Church of the Gesu). With the Napoleonic suppression of the Jesuit Order, the church was deconsecrated and closed down, while its façade and apse remained unfinished and in exposed bricks. It was then successively used as a barracks, a gym, and a laboratory, and is today the seat of the Aula Magna (Great Hall) of the University of Bologna:

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Old June 16th, 2019, 09:06 PM   #464
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I return northwards, then take Via de’ Poeti to go west towards the area of the Basilica of San Domenico, and shortly arrive in front of the 15th-century Casa Berò, characterized by a semi-portico with finely decorated hanging arches in terracotta. These, together with the beautiful terracotta reliefs adorning the mullioned windows, make it one of the more interesting examples of Renaissance civil architecture in Bologna. Notice in particular the corner corbel, made of sandstone, and decorated with a winged figure, perhaps a demon. The area below the eaves was once decorated with paintings, today gone. The house is also called Casa dei Carracci, because it’s supposed to have been at a time the residence and the study of this family of illustrious painters:

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Old June 16th, 2019, 09:07 PM   #465
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From that spot, Via Rolandino leads you directly to the left (north) side of Basilica, dominated by the huge Chapel of the Rosary, in front of which stands a column in marble, brick and copper with a statue of the Madonna of the Rosary from 1632, commemorating the end of the plague in the city:

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Old June 16th, 2019, 09:08 PM   #466
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Several other protruding chapels can be seen towards the apsidal area, as well as the summit of the 51-meter tall bell tower, erected in Romanesque-Gothic style in 1313:

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Old June 16th, 2019, 09:09 PM   #467
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The square in front of the church is paved with pebbles, as it was in medieval times, and another column rises in the middle, topped by a bronze statue of Saint Dominic from 1627. The brick façade with a large rose window was completed in 1240 as the last element of the original church. Its original Romanesque appearance was restored in 1910 by removing an 18th-century portico and replacing it with a portal, whose lunette contains a mosaic depicting Saint Dominic blessing the city of Bologna. The façade is bounded on the left by the Ghisilardi Chapel, a sepulchral structure in Roman style added in the 16th century:

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Old June 16th, 2019, 09:10 PM   #468
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Just left of the Ghisilardi Chapel stands the mausoleum of jurist Rolandino dè Passeggeri, another one of the Glossators of the Bolognese School, while further in the back is the mausoleum of Egidio Foscherari (not visible here). They are very similar to those of the Basilica of San Francesco, and consist of an aedicule surmounted by a pyramid and resting on a number of marble columns, with a Byzantine marble ark resting inside. The shape of these tombs is extremely specific and has no corresponding structure almost anywhere else in Italy:

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Old June 16th, 2019, 09:12 PM   #469
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The interior of the Basilica, enlarged and modified over the centuries, was completely renewed in Baroque style with well-balanced proportions in the 18th century, under the sponsorship of the Dominican Pope Benedict XIII. It consists of a central nave and two lateral aisles with 22 chapels in total, delimited by Ionic columns and pilasters. Early on, the church began receiving many works of art from the faithful, and also preserves an organ on which Mozart played during his stay in Bologna:

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Old June 16th, 2019, 09:13 PM   #470
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The high altar is dominated by a huge altarpiece set inside a gilded frame, depicting the Adoration of the Magi, and flanked by panels depicting Saint Nicholas of Bari and Saint Dominic, while below it is a Last Supper. The monumental wooden choir, with its 102 carved panels displaying scenes from the Old Testament (on the right side) and the New Testament (on the left side), is a 16th-century work of great value:

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Old June 17th, 2019, 08:50 PM   #471
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The highlight of the church is the Chapel of St Dominic in the south (right) aisle, rebuilt in the early 17th century, and decorated by some of the most important painters of the Bolognese School. The semi-dome of the apse is painted with the fresco of Saint Dominic’s Glory, creating a dramatic setting for the famous sarcophagus where the saint is buried, and the apse itself is lined with niches painted with The Theological Virtues and The Cardinal Virtues, one of which contains a sparkly 14th-century reliquary made to house the saint’s skull:

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Old June 17th, 2019, 08:51 PM   #472
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Great, very nice updates, cat
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Old June 17th, 2019, 08:51 PM   #473
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The remains of Saint Dominic were moved in 1267 into the magnificent marble sarcophagus at the center of this chapel to be accessed more easily by the pilgrims. The sarcophagus is carved with high relief scenes from the saint’s life, while its lid crowned by eight statuettes of the protector saints of Bologna (two of which were carved by a young Michelangelo), and by a figure of The Redeemer Holding the World, standing on a terrestrial globe decorated with festoons of fruits (representing the Earth) and dolphins (representing the sea). I have absolutely NO IDEA why I didn’t take closer pictures of this wonder, as the chapel appears to be open!

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Old June 17th, 2019, 08:53 PM   #474
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Right opposite the Chapel of Saint Dominic is the breathtaking Chapel of the Rosary, created in the late 16th century. In its center is a sumptuous altar framing the statue of the Madonna of the Rosary, surrounded by 15 paintings commissioned to the most celebrated workshops in Bologna and representing the Mysteries of the Rosary. After the plague of 1630, the Madonna of the Rosary became the focus of a rejuvenated cult, and many gifts were presented to this chapel from people who had survived the epidemic. In the second half of the 17th century, the chapel was enlarged, fully painted with a rich scenographic decoration glorifying the Madonna of the Rosary, and enriched with golden stucco decorations and elegant friezes. The abundant use of gold leaf contributes to the diffusion of light and gives the chapel its typical baroque sumptuousness:

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Old June 17th, 2019, 08:54 PM   #475
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The dome is painted with a vivacious Assumption, where the Madonna is carried up into the sky by the angels and crowned, while in the four roundels at the base of the dome are represented the Merits of the Rosary, handed by the Virgin to Saint Dominic in order to defeat the plague of 1630. The apse above the altar is painted with Heaven and Earth Praising the Madonna of the Rosary, one of the most impressive scenes of Emilian baroque: above a monumental baroque building in illusionistic architecture, the sky opens over two choirs of angels holding a crown made of flowers, symbolizing earthly grace, and a crown made of stars, a symbol of divine glory. Unfortunately I couldn’t use the flash to take these pictures, which is why they came out so dark and grainy:

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Old June 17th, 2019, 08:56 PM   #476
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I would like to spend more time exploring this church, but I’m running out of time, and want to arrive to Torre Asinelli before 4 p.m. to get enough light for the view from its summit, so I decide to leave and head north right away, frustrated that I couldn’t make the detour to take better pictures of the interior of San Paolo Maggiore. I pass again under the portico of Galleria Cavour on Via Farini, and take another picture of the sandstone medallion with a Madonna, but I don’t think it came out much better than the last one:

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Old June 17th, 2019, 08:58 PM   #477
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I continue northward on Via Castiglione to reach the Two Towers, passing again next to the fortress-like Palazzo Pepoli Vecchio. As the sky is overcast this time, the lack of light-shadow contrast helps me notice a curiosity: several iron rings supporting snake-shaped iron bars, lining entire length of the ground floor. These presumably served to moorings boats in front of the palace, as through Via Castiglione ran the ancient Savena Canal, which for centuries was completely navigable:

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Old June 17th, 2019, 08:59 PM   #478
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The Pepoli family enlarged the palace for centuries, building the newest wing in 1723. In 1910 it was ceded to the municipality, and houses today the Civic Museum of the History of Bologna, accessed through this door decorated with splendid terracotta carvings:

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Old June 17th, 2019, 09:02 PM   #479
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The oldest part of the palace, built in 1344, presents an austere medieval style. Under the crenelated cornice, a faded painted band can still be seen, consisting of a checkerboard pattern of black and white squares that appears in the coat-of-arms of the Pepoli. Elegant painted shapes are visible inside the windows of the second floors, while further up is a small and refined balcony in white marble:

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Old June 17th, 2019, 09:04 PM   #480
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The door to this part of the palace is also adorned with beautiful terracotta carvings, and the external band is additionally decorated with a checkered pattern, representing the coat-of-arms of the Pepoli:

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