Il cimitero venne fondato nel 1801 riutilizzando le strutture del convento certosino edificato a partire dal 1334 e soppresso nel 1796. La chiesa di S. Girolamo è testimonianza della ricchezza perduta del convento, e tutt'ora conserva enormi tele cinque-
Unlike many Italian monumental cemeteries, which were built from scratch, the Bologna cemetery was created by reutilizing the structures of the pre-
Even though nowadays it appears fully integrated into the urban fabric, it was chosen in 1801, as it became usual for the other European cemeteries, rightly because of its distance from the residential area and for the opportunity to adapt it by way of very few works. Starting from 1797, year of its suppression, the monastic building underwent many transformations, demolitions and extensions, so that the original structure is only partially visible.
Already in 1801, the fence to the north of the cemetery was built and decorated with terracotta sculptures by G. Putti, where a new monumental entrance was opened.
The first works were readjustments of the monastery spaces, whilst from 1833 the building programme was the result of a more complex structure, with exedrae, biaxial elements, symmetries aimed at a greater monumental ambition.
Tra le architetture novecentesche sono da ricordare l'enorme Chiostro VI o dei Caduti delle Grande Guerra e la Sala Annessa, la Galleria del Chiostro IX e il Monumento ossario dei Caduti Partigiani, capolavoro del razionalismo italiano. Al loro interno si conserva un vastissimo patrimonio di pitture e sculture realizzate da quasi tutti gli artisti bolognesi attivi nel XIX e XX secolo, testimonianza delle complesse vicende artistiche, storiche e intellettuali di Bologna, cui si sono aggiunte in anni recenti alcuni interventi di artisti contemporanei. Segnaliamo solo alcuni degli artisti più noti: Antonio Basoli, Pietro Fancelli, Giacomo De Maria, Giovanni Putti, Luigi Acquisti, Pelagio Palagi, Cincinnato Baruzzi, Massimiliano Putti, Carlo Monari, Enrico Barberi, Diego Sarti, Tullo Golfarelli, Silverio Montaguti, Pasquale Rizzoli, Giuseppe Romagnoli, Ercole Drei, Farpi Vignoli, Carlo Santachiara. Notevoli le presenze 'forestiere', vero banco di confronto per gli artisti locali: Carlo Chelli, Salvino Salvini, Giovanni Duprè, Stefano Galletti, Pietro Tenerani, Vincenzo Vela, Antonio Ribalta, Giovanni Strazza, Giovan Battista Lombardi.
Cimtero monumentale della Certosa, Bologna, via della Certosa 18
Certosa, Bologna monumental cemetery
Between 1816 and 1834 the main rooms of the Certosa were built: in 1816 the ’Hall of the Graves’, in 1833, the ’Arcade of the Graves’ and, immediately after, the ’Gemina Hall’ and the ‘Colombario’, an impressive building with three naves inspired by the Roman thermal architecture. The building of the ‘Elliptical Hall’, a small body to connect the nineteenth and twentieth-
A different interpretation of the spaces started at the beginning of the twentieth century, according to a more monumental and rhetorical viewpoint: significant examples of this period are the ’Sixth Cloister’ with the ‘World War I Memorial’, the ‘Eighth’ and the ‘Ninth Cloister’, with the annexed galleries. In 1924, the new entrance was built, at the end of the colonnade, near the Reno canal.
Along these spaces of the cemetery, visitors can admire an impressive repertory of monuments, unique in Europe. The most ancient works are showed on the walls of the Third Cloister and are mainly frescoes belonging to the most important and distinguished Bolognese families. Only later, the graves started to be decorated with sculptures and different decoration bodies that, until the mid of the nineteenth century, were composed by ‘poor’ materials, such as plaster, stucco, scagliola or terracotta and only afterwards, marble.