Palazzo del Bo Padova Reviews
An amazing insight to one of the world's oldest universities Jun 22, 2010
Palazzo del Bo is the home and headquarter of the prestigious University of Padua (founded in 1222) one of the oldest in Italy and the world.
As soon as you enter the building you will notice many coats of arms belonging to the regions of the students who attended the university.
There are guided tours to the main rooms of the Palace, and they are an absolute must if you want to get to know the very soul of the university.
The first room you visit is the "Hall of the fourty", a very nicely decorated room where you find the frescoes of 40 illustreous students of the University of Padova. Most impressively, you can see a podium that Galileo used for some of his lectures. Awesome. Galileo taught in this University because Padova and Veneto in general were considered liberal at the time, but later he moved to his home region of Toscana and then he had his famous issues with clerical authorities.
Then you move to the Aula Magna, an impressive room now only used for uberspecial occasions. The room is again decorated with many coats of arms and features a wonderful fresco in the ceiling called "Wisdom and Discipline". The guide explains there the role of many of the great students of the University in the development of science.
I think the most impressive room of the Palazzo is definitively the Anatomical Theatre, the room where corpses were disected for students to learn Anatomy. The guide explained that it was very difficult to get enough bodies to cover the increasing needs of science, and those bodies were sometimes stolen from cemeteries.
The room for the students to stand was very small, and there was also little ventilation and almost no windows, and with the smell of corpses you can imagine that not few would faint. The standing places were designed to support the bodies of fainting students so they wouldn't fall to the floor.
The last stop was a statue from Helena Lucrecia Cornelia, the first female graduated from a University anywhere in the world. Quite an achievement.
The visit to Palazzo del Bo is an absolute must in Padova, specially for those enthusiasts of science and culture.
Part of the Carlos's Couchsurfing Summer in Europe travel blog
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