One of the main historical rooms in the medical school in Bologna is the Anatomical theatre, in the magnificent Palazzo dell'Archiginnasio, the first unified seat of the University of Bologna. The palace was built quickly, between 1562 and 1563, by order of Saint Charles Borromeo, then pontifical legate in Bologna.
The theatre – completely made with spruce wood – underwent several modification and reached its final shape between 1733 and 1736. In this period, Silvestro Giannotti carved the wooden statues which decorate the theatre walls. They represent some famous physicians of the old times (Hippocrates, Galenus, etc.) and of the local athenaeum (Mondino de Liuzzi, Gasparo Tagliacozzi).
The theatre was almost completely destroyed during the Second World War, by an air raid on January 29, 1944. After the war, the Theatre has been reconstructed, using all of the original pieces recovered among the rubble of the building.