The construction of this basilica, dedicated to San Petronio (the patron of Bologna), began in 1392. It was originally planned to be larger than St Peter's in Rome, but a papal ban meant that the facade was never completed. The exterior offers a good example of Gothic architecture, and the interior is richly decorated with a central room at the back where you can see the original plans by the architect Palladio.
It is the third church built n the spot where the Franciscan monks first settled in the thirteenth century, and was built by Biaglio Rossetti from the year 1494. It has an imposing brick facade, and is remarkable for a frieze separating the two orders, with a portrait of San Francisco held by angels repeated dozens of times. The interior is in the shape of a Latin cross, with three naves and eight side chapels. In the first chapel on the left is an unusual stone carved altarpiece of the sixteenth century, and in the transept to the right is a large mausoleum, the only example of a Baroque style tomb in the city of Ferrara.
This basilica was founded in 1346 as the Church of the Community Servants of the Blessed Virgin Mary and was designed by Father Andrea da Faenza, whose work can also be seen in the Basilica of San Petronio in Bologna. It was elevated to the status of basilica by Pope Pius XII. The basilica is 100 meters long and 20 meters wide and shaped like a Latin cross. The most notable feature of the church is its courtyard or atrium. This is a feature that was common in the early Christian churches. You can tell you´re getting closer to the Church from the very beginning of the street.
The Church of San Francisco is very close to Dante's tomb. The church dates from the eighteenth century. This would be trivial in a country like Italy, were it not for the flooding of the the crypt. Indeed, from the crypt, where I suggest going straight away, you can admire a floor covered with Roman mosaics. During my stay in Ravenna, I particularly liked this: the old styles and new juxtaposed, always united in a building. Rather than bulldoze everything and build on the ruins as is being done with the nearest building, with little concern for consistency of style. There is also a humourous note, so to speak, with goldfish swimming in the flooded crypt, the guardians of the ancient mosaics below.
My first discovery, shortly after arriving in the city, was a pleasant surprise. It was the Church of St. John the Evangelist, which stands out just as you leave the train station. It's one of the oldest churches in the city, although it was partly rebuilt after the WWII (but still maintains its original form). The church has a marble gateway that marks the entrance to the garden in front of the doorway. The interior is simple yet elegant, with three naves and a beautiful old organ, which takes you by surprise while you are admiring everything else.
Erected by the Jesuits in 1607 and designed by Giorgio Soldati, this is an example of baroque design. The interior houses XVII furniture and paintings by Giuseppe Barbieri, Ludovico Lana, or Jean Boulanger, a splendid temple close to the town hall square.
The most notable thing about this church is the fact that it is not really one church, but rather a complex of several: Church of the Cross, Cloister of St. Stephen, Martyrdom of St. Stephen, Saints Vitale and Agricola, and Holy Sepulchre. It is believed that it was originally built to copy the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. From the square you have a great view, so you can see the variety of styles on display. In the area outside are two medieval sarcophagi where the remains of the first two bishops of the Church of Bologna lie. The Basilica of St. Sepulchre is the oldest, I've uploaded a photo of the interior which is very dark, but truly remarkable, the materials used include a column of black African marble, probably reused from an earlier building. I have also included some photos of the courtyard of Pilate, which is wonderful in spring! Last year a big concert was held here, raising funds for the complex.
The Church of St. Bartholomew and Cayetano is located just behind the Tower Asinelli Garisenda. It is an old, preserved fifteenth century church, with its tower and dome completed in 1694. The impressive interior is in the baroque style, and there isn't a single piece of wall that isn't painted.
Following my tour of the Churches of Modena, I can't miss out on this one, which was my favorite. Some of the others may have more historical significance, but I really liked this one, built in 1630, designed by Christopher Malagola, and funded by the community in an effort to end the plague. Inside there are many paintings by artists such as Antonio Giarola, Zalone Benito and Antonio Simonazzi.
The Orthodox Church was built by the architect Cesar Costa in 1834, supposed to be a chapel inside the Villa Coccapani (which was destroyed in 1967). It is surrounded by a beautiful park and on June 24, 1984, became the present Orthodox Church. The style is a mix between gothic and romantic.
The Church of San Vincenzo in Modena is not in the city centre, so I didn't find it while walking around the town. A previous church stood on this site in 1200. During World War II, the building was significantly damaged by bombs, which destroyed the outside and even some of the frescoes in the dome.
The Church of Santa Maria della Pomposa dates back to the twelfth century, and was rebuilt in 1717, by Ludovico Antonio Muratori. Inside are several paintings by Bernardino and Jean Boulanger. There's also the most modern Masonic tomb, created by the sculptor Ludovico Pogliaghi Milan in 1931.
The Church of San Domenico di Modena is located near the famous Doge's Palace. It was first built around 1200, and rebuilt in 1700. The facade is very simple, and as you can see from the pictures, the walls have been slightly damaged, and need a bit of maintenance work. The church contains some important works of art inside, like the picture of Jesus, Mary, and Martha in the baptistery.
There are plenty of churches in Modena, some of which are more famous than others. The church of San Giorgio, along with that of San Domenico, is located in the square where the Palazzo Ducale, home of the military, stands. This seventeenth-century church, a Baroque work, has beautiful colours, contrasting white marble and reddish brick.