top of page

The spaces and the gallery


LABS Contemporary Art has been operating in the Bolognese territory since October 2014. Since its inception, the space was created as a place dedicated to research, with particular attention to the dialogue between historicized art and contemporary art, with an eye to the territory and the history of Bologna. There is a strong link between the exhibition space and the history of the city. The building, where our gallery is located, dates back to the 13th century, when the Church of S. Maria della Ceriola stood in its place, an aspect that can still be appreciated today in the architectural complex of the structure.

Giulia Marchi, La natura dello spazio logico, panoramiche Labs Bologna, 2020. Ph_ Carlo Fa

Six centuries of history: from Church to Gallery


The hospitable of San Biagio, also known as the hospice of Santa Maria dei Servi was a building that stood in St. Stephen's, in front of the entrance to Via Cartoleria where it remained until July 28, 1798 when the company of the Servants who had created it ceased to exist. The complex was built around the year 1347, but from the archives of the company that governed it, it is deduced that the original nucleus was older:" "Hoc opus inceptum fuit year 1200 ad laudem et gloriam Dei omnipotentis, et Beata Mariae Virginis ac Divi Alexi".

Attached to the building of the hospitable San Biagio stood the Church of S. Maria della Ceriola or Castel de' Britti, the current Labs Gallery. The Hospitaller was in fact specialized in the care of the acute sick, that is to say those who were suddenly in danger of death, including those condemned to capital punishment, but also carried out the service of reception of pilgrims, among whom we remember the most famous, namely Francis Xavier who acquired here in the first half of the sixteenth century, the reputation as a preacher and consoler of the sick and prisoners.

The church of the hospital of San Biagio, or of Santa Maria dei Servi, was renovated in 1792, and embellished as much as its shape and situation could allow. 

The Company of the Servants therefore ceased to exist in 1798 and from 1816, conversions of use were made of all the adjacent suppressed religious buildings. 

In 1831 many buildings, such as the convent of s. Maria dei Servi, were transformed into private or military homes; it was so that in the building that had housed the hospital of San Biagio and the church of Santa Maria di Castel de Britti was set up from 1815 the Locanda della Pace where Leopardi lived in May 1827.

Umberto Traversari 1987-2018©

bottom of page