old Institute of Human Anatomy

The Anatomical Institute was built in Siena, outside the Porta Laterina, near the public cemetery (via Laterino, 8).

Anatomical study of bodies was performed in the spaces of the old hospital of Santa Maria della Scala since 17001. There were serious problems, that also Paolo Mascagni2 denounced: the rooms were too close to patients' rooms and to the corridors of the hospital. It seemed better to build an edifice dedicated only to anatomical studies and teaching. At the beginning the situation was critical: the sum of L. 52000, collected in 1892, was insufficient to start the building work, and the argument about the excessive number of the Italian Universities was supporting the idea of suppressing the University of Siena3. Domenico Barduzzi, rector of the University of Siena, obtained funds by Monte dei Paschi. The rector promoted and monitored carefully the building work that lasted about 3 years, from January 21, 1894 to July 2, 18964.

The Institute hosted laboratories of anatomy, histology and topographic anatomy, pathologic anatomy, pathology, forensic medicine, hygiene; furthermore there was a rich museum of anatomy5, whose objects currently belong to the Museo Anatomico 'Leonetto Comparini'.6


These two pictures show the entrance of the same building. While the first one was taken in the past7, when the edifice was the Institute of Human Anatomy, the second one is recent. Nowadays it's used by the University of Siena for other classes of science.


Near the Institute, as it's possible to see on the left part of the photo, there is the old cemetery.

  • Photos by Margherita Grazi moc.liamg|izarg.atirehgram#| and Martina Strangio moc.liamg|89oignartsanitram#| (November 2016)


- AA.VV., Domenico Barduzzi (1847-1929), Accademia delle Scienze di Siena detta dei Fisiocritici (memorie N.3, 1987), Siena 1987, pp. 164.

- Francesca Vannozzi, "L’Anatomia senese: storia di un percorso dal XIII secolo al 1950". In: G.Terenna - F.Vannozzi (a cura di), Il Museo Anatomico "Leonetto Comparini": gli strumenti scientifici, Nuova Immagine, Siena 2004, pp. 31-57.

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