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Bologna 1506-1861

The Popes Take Over

Raphael's portrait of Julius II

Continued from Bologna 1000-1505.

Julius II Makes his Move

In 1506, that most warlike and irascible of popes, Julius II, took time off from browbeating Michelangelo and Raphael to bring a big army over the Apennines to vindicate his claims on the Romagna and Bologna. The Bolognesi, who had had their fill of Bentivoglios, were delighted to see him, and in their enthusiasm they sacked and demolished the Bentivoglio Palace and chased Giovanni out of town.

It did not occur to them at the time that they had exchanged a weak local despot for a distant and powerful one. By the time it sunk in, Julius had put an end to Bologna’s independence once and for all, and a revolt against him in 1511 was crushed. From then on, the city was ruled by papal legates, with a consultative Senate of nobles, and the popes themselves spent several long stays in the city with their court.

Coronation of Charles V

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Bologna History and Sidelights

Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Images by PD Art