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Basilica di San Petronio

Home > Emilia-Romagna > Bologna > Bologna > Basilica di San Petronio

The Basilica di San Petronio rises in all its majesty in Piazza Maggiore.

It is immense: 132 metres long, 58 metres wide, and 44 metres high. It was designed by Antonio di Vincenzo in 1390 and on the basis of the original project it should have been even bigger, but it was never completed: it has no transept.

It facade bears double-arched windows and is also incomplete.

The main door is decorated with bass reliefs by Jacopo della Queercia which illustrate the stories of the Old and New Testament.

The inside is made more precious with glass windows from the 1400's and 1500's which close the Gothic double-arched windows of the lateral Chapels. There are many works of art: the fresco's by Giovanni da Modena (1410), a S. Rocco by Parmigianino, a statue of Saint Antonio by Sansovino.

Curious is a solar meridian, designed in 1656 and situated on the floor of the left-hand nave. The sunlight that filters in from a hole in the vault indicates the local solar hour. In the Museum of the Church there are designs and projects of the facade, sacred clothing and furnishings, objects in gold, ivory, and precious gems and coral.

This is the Basilica used for the coronation of Emperor Carlo V by Pope Clemente VII, and it also conserves the tomb of Elisa Bonaparte, sister of Napoleon. The ciborium of the main alter is by Vignola (1547). Also very interesting is the wooden, inlayed Choir box and the two organs.

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