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The Medical degree Hall

Still used for ceremonies to confer doctorate degrees, the Medical Degree Hall of Palazzo del Bo boasts a history that has endured over the centuries.

In the Middle Ages, the hall belonging to the aristocratic Papafava da Carrara family of Padua. The hall retains its original ceiling that is formed by closely spaced wooden beams, painted laths, and fragments of frescoes adorned with leaf weaving and an area of red and green chequered pattern.

From the 16th century onwards, theoretical lessons on medicine took place here as the University firmly gained an important role in this field. The gallery of portraits offers a glimpse into those whose contribution to medicine changed the course of study forever.  Each marked by their time in Padua, the portraits include the Father of Modern Anatomy, Andreas Vesalius, the 16th century Anatomists Gabriele Falloppia (giving his name to the Fallopian tube), the German Anatomist Johann Georg Wirsung (remembered for the discovery of the pancreatic duct) and the Father of Modern Anatomical Pathology, Giovanni Battista Morgagni.

sala medicina
achille funi affresco medicina

The room is decorated with two frescoes painted by Achille Funi in 1942, depicting the allegories of when “Fame writes the name of Morgagni in the book of history.” The room clearly pays homage to the scholars of Padua while underlining an alternate interpretation depicting the then rector Carlo Anti as a classical sculpture.

The hall includes a case with a series of eight skulls from professors who donated their bodies to medical science collected by Francesco Cortese, professor of medicine and Dean of the University, as a means to advance the study of phrenology.

crani sala medicina