>Palazzo dell' Università

Palazzo dell' Università

No. 5, Via Balbi, Genoa

The University of Genoa's principal building dates at least to 1472. In 1554 the Jesuits received a monoploy on higher education in the city. In 1634 Francesco Maria Balbi, a Jesuit, planned a grandiose "College of Jesuits," designed by Bartolomeo Bianco da Como opposite the two family palaces on the Strada Balbi (nos. 2 and 4, now the Faculty of Humanities).

The Jesuit College was built on the side of the hill rising steeply from the road, so it was conceived vertically. Completed early in the eighteenth century, it became the property of the Republic in 1775, after the suppression of the Jesuit order. The portal and monumental staircase flanked by massive lions are noticeable even from the street.

Photograph and text by Philip V. Allingham.

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