CONGRESS VENUES

13th MAY

Opening Ceremony

17h30 / 19h30

Aula Magna Galileo Galilei,
University of Padua

Palazzo Bo Via 8 Febbraio 1848, 2
35122 Padova
ITALY

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14th / 17th MAY

Scientific Sessions

09h00 / 17h00

CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL PADUA

Via Po, 197
35135 Padova
ITALY

Aula Magna Galileo Galilei, Palazzo Bo & Anatomical Theatre 

The best-known room in the Palazzo Bo is the Aula Magna, the Great Hall. First mentioned in a document of 1399 as the ‘sala magna’ of the Hospitium Bovis, it was a large dining-room: after the University took over the building, it became the Scuola Grande dei Legisti. As a rule, although with a few exceptions – Galileo Galilei was allowed to teach in it – the Aula Magna was the preserve of the jurists. One of the most evocative symbols in the history of the University and of its staff and alumni is undoubtedly the podium which, according to tradition, was used by Galileo itself. It was located in the Aula Magna until mid-way through the 19th century, when it was moved due to renovation work on the hall. The decoration of the Aula Magna as it appears today was completed between 1938 and 1942, with the architect Gio Ponti supervising the work.


Architecturally, the 16th century was the key period for the Palazzo Bo. Dating from that century is the world’s first permanent anatomical theatre. 1446 is the date on the earliest documents mentioning the use of anatomical theatres made of wood, which were erected and dismantled as needed for public dissections. Notable among the great anatomists who taught at the University of Padua is Andreas Vesalius, whose textbook De humani corporis fabrica makes reference to a theatre in the city. It was the anatomist Girolamo Fabrici D’Acquapendente who took the initiative of having a permanent anatomical theatre built. It was inaugurated in 1595 and remained in use until 1872.