CHARLES V INCORONATION
The incomplete San Petronio also hosted an event that entered in history books: the coronation of Charles V as emperor of the Holy Roman Empire by Pope Clemente VII. It was February 24th, 1530.
Why Bologna? Because in Rome a few years earlier, in 1527, there had been the Sack of Rome, by the Lanzichenecchi. Moreover, the city of Bologna was the second most important of the Papal State and, not unimportant detail, the space that would have served as background to the ceremony was estimated for its majesty and beauty.
So the incomplete basilica (a vault was missing still as well) was festively decorated.
Inside were built fake architectures that imitated marble and precious stones and the city was decorated for the occasion with tense veils between houses, statues and fountains that threw wine. A wooden pier was also built: it directly connected the regal apartments with St. Petronio and the square.
Two days before the grand occasion in the basilica, Bologna was the background of another coronation of Charles V, that of King of Italy, which took place on February 22 in the town hall, today Palazzo d’Accursio. Unfortunately, however, this event left the town of Bologna with a sour taste: in fact, Charles V had promised to build and fresco a chapel with the scenes of his coronation in the basilica. A promise which, however, was not maintained and the attempts to convince his son, Philip II, were vain