Loggia and coats of arms
From ufficio dlm
Over three thousand heraldic coats of arms, frescoed and in stone, adorn the loggias of the Old
Courtyard and the walls of various rooms in the Bo Palace. These coats of arms belong to the
students who held the highest academic positions, that is, as rectors of the two Universitates , their
deputies, council members, and captains of the nationes (student nations). Their presence testifies to
the rich, pan-European cultural geography that shaped the Paduan student body. Students were
divided into nationes , based on their ethnic-geographic origins, which in turn were divided into the
groups of the “Citramontani” and the “Oltramontani.” Additionally, in the early days of the
university’s administration, students had the power to approve university statues, elect the rectors,
and select the professors.
The oldest frescoed coats of arms are on the vaults, and they date back to the second half of the
sixteenth century. Initially painted by Francesco Falzapato, they were later repainted by the
Veronese painter Dario Varotari from 1581 to 1590. The coats of arms were made between the
mid-sixteenth century and 1688, the year in which the Venetian Republic ceased the practice.