The Demon of Palazzo Salina – Bologna, Italy - Atlas Obscura

The Demon of Palazzo Salina

This building features dozens of faces along its facade, although one is a bit chilling.  


One of the best ways to admire Bologna is by looking up. Visitors will find towers hidden between palaces, amazing architectural designs, and faces. 

Palazzo Salina Amorini Bolognini in Piazza Santo Stefano is an exquisite example of Bolognese Renaissance taste. The first stone was set in 1517, but for different reasons, edification was interrupted several times during the centuries. The final version was completed in 1884.

The entire facade of the palace is covered in capricci busts composed of terra cotta that jut from circular niches and gaze at curious onlookers. The artists behind the busts were Alfonso Lombardi and Nicolò da Volterra.

There are faces of ladies, warriors, gods, ancient Romans, and several of busts that feature various races and cultures. However, the most well-known is the bust of the demon, possibly a satyr. It’s not clear why this figure was placed prominently in the middle of the building, but is not the only face of a demon seen on a building around town. 

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November 16, 2020

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