The Bo Palace

In this chapter we discuss the historic site of the University of Padova, the Bo Palace, one of the oldest in the world.

The Bo Palazzo is the historic headquarters of the University of Padua since 1539 and continues to attract students and professors from all over Italy and beyond. It is a unique and astonishing building, seat of the Rectorate and of the School of Jurisprudence, and also preserves the oldest Anatomical Theater in the world. Thanks to it, the city soon became one of the major centers of knowledge production and cradle of the modern Scientific Revolution.

The Ancient Courtyard, inside, is surrounded by two superimposed colonnades, each of which was decorated, with almost 3000 crests, by teachers and students who over time completed the university. Initially the coats of arms were painted, often by painters and engravers of the Baroque period, it was only from 1590 that it was established that the coats of arms had to be made of stone.

Passing through the sixteenth century Aula Magna, one crosses an antechamber called the Sala dei Quaranta, which takes its name from the images of the forty famous students of the University painted on the wall. The image has only a symbolic and not iconographic value, the memory of these esteemed men is an essential part of the history of the place and not by chance houses the most precious jewel. In this solemn room, the University holds so carefully, is the Chair of Galileo Galilei, from which the Tuscan scientist imparted his lessons explaining his innovative theories, between 1592 and 1610.