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Historical halls

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Historical Halls

Historical halls

Aula Volta

The physics laboratory, built under the instruction of Joseph II and designed by Leopold Pollack, was dedicated to Alessandro Volta, who was a professor (1778-1821) as well as the Rector of the University of Pavia (1786-1787). Construction of the Hall was completed in 1787.
The Hall recalls the structure of Vicenza’s Palladian Olympic Theatre and includes a series of Ionic semi-columns and niches with statues of Galileo Galilei and Bonaventura Cavalieri.
In 1828 Giuseppe Marchesi replaced the original flat ceiling, which had been damaged in the earthquake of the same year, with the current shell covering. In addition, the originally rectangular windows were transformed into a sequence of lunettes.
Restoration of the Hall took place in 1999, on occasion of the bicentenary celebrations to mark the invention of the  attery by Alessandro Volta (1799).

Aula Scarpa

The medical surgery/consulting room, designed in 1785 by Giuseppe Piermarini and concluded the following year by  Leopold Pollak, is named after Antonio Scarpa, professor of Anatomy at the University of Pavia. Its semicircular layout is  odeled on ancient theatres and the Palladian Olympic Theatre of Vicenza; there is a series of niches on the curved side  ith marble busts of illustrious anatomists of Pavia such as Scarpa, Panizza, Zoia and Sala.
The horseshoe shaped auditorium is made entirely of wood. The benches and the teacher’s desk are divided, with separate access, according to the requirements for instruction in Anatomy.
Grotesque candelabra are painted on the gores of the umbrella ceiling (the original was a lacunar ceiling), alternating with winged figures holding some of the most important surgical instruments. Cippus and funeral vases complete the furnishings. The Aula Scarpa was restored in 1999.

Aula Foscolo

The rectangular-shaped Hall, designed by Giuseppe Piermarini and constructed in 1775, was destined to become the Assembly Hall of the Faculties of Medicine and Law. The pictorial decoration was initiated in 1782. On the ceiling, the figures of Mercury and Minerva are depicted and, on the walls, each faculty is individually represented. The decorative display of the Hall is completed by two large oil portraits, painted in Vienna in 1719, of the Empress Maria Teresa of Austria and her son Joseph II, both of whom were protagonists of the eighteenth century rebirth of the University of Pavia. The Hall underwent an initial restoration in 1927 on occasion of the centenary of the death of Ugo Foscolo, to whom it is dedicated. It was in the Aula Foscolo that, on the 22nd of January 1809, Foscolo, poet and professor of the University, delivered his famous inaugural speech “Of the origin and office of literature”. The Hall was again restored in 2000.

Aula Magna

Construction of the Hall began in 1843 and was concluded in 1850 according to the design of Giuseppe Piermarini. It  tands on the grounds of the old oratory and the adjacent cemetery of S. Maurizio (Saint Maurice).
The internal plan is basilica style, with three aisles and two rows of large columns with Corinthian capitals. An enormous painting done by Trecourt, depicting King Vittorio Emanuele II, dominates the centre of the apse; on either side there are portraits of illustrious professors of the University.
On the exterior, the pronaos designed by Marchesi is modelled on the Greek temple and the tympanum presents a basrelief depicting the Rector Alessandro Volta in the act of conferring a degree. On the architrave, it is written: “Sollemnibus studiorum dictatum MDCCCL”.