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The Veneto: Padua and Verona               NEW: Bologna

BOLOGNA
July 2018
The newest city on this site comes with a colour scheme based on my newest favourite colour!

There are some incomplete and scrappy entries still, but as I have no immediate bookings to return
to Bologna, and only a couple of books still on my pile to plunder for facts and scans, it seems for
the best to share the majority of comprehensive entries now.

On this page

Corpus Domini
The Duomo
Madonna dei Poveri
Madonna del Monte
Madonna di San Luca see San Luca

San Barbaziano
San Bartolomeo see Santi Bartolomeo e Gaetano
San Basilio
San Clemente
San Colombano
San Domenico
San Donato
San Fillipo see Santa Maria di Galliera
San Francesco
San Giacomo Maggiore
San Giorgio in Poggiale
San Giovanni Battista dei Celestini
San Giovanni in Monte
San Girolamo della Certosa
San Giuliano
San Giuseppe
San Luca
San Martino
San Michele in Bosco
San Paolo in Monte
San Paolo Maggiore
San Petronio
San Procolo
San Rocco
San Salvatore see Santissimo Salvatore
San Sigismondo
San Vittore

Sant'Antonio Abate
Sant'Isiah

On page 2


Santa Caterina di Strada Maggiore
Santa Cecilia see San Giacomo Maggiore
Santa Lucia former

Santa Cristina

Santa Maria degli Angeli
Santa Maria dei Bulgari
Santa Maria dei Servi
Santa Maria del Baraccano
Santa Maria della Carita
Santa Maria della Misericordia
Santa Maria della Pietà (dei Mendicanti)
Santa Maria della Pioggia
Santa Maria della Visitazione al Ponte della Lame
Santa Maria della Vita
Santa Maria delle Muratelle
Santa Maria di Galliera
Santa Maria e San Valentino della Grada
Santa Maria Labarum Coeli (La Baroncella)
Santa Maria Maggiore

Santi Bartolomeo e Gaetano
Santi Filippo and Giacomo
Santi Giuseppe e Ignazio
Santi Gregorio e Siro
Santi Naborre e Felice
Santi Vitale e Agricola
Santissima Annunziata
Santissima Trinita
Santissimo Salvatore
Santo Spirito
Santo Stefano

 

 

 

Corpus Domini
via Tagliapietre


History
Known locally as the Santa for its containing the remains of Saint Catherine de’ Vigri who founded the Clarissan monastery here in 1456. Originally built from 1477 to 1480 the church retains a fine renaissance façade, with its terracotta portal and reliefs, attributed to Sperandio di Bartolomeo from Mantua. The monastery was suppressed in 1866.

Interior
The interior of the building was rebuilt in baroque style by Gian Giacomo Monti in 1687. It was much damaged at the west end by bombing during World War II, on the 5th of October 1943, including the loss of a large Annunciation fresco on the totally-destroyed west wall.
Large, aisleless, with darkish grey stone walls and columns, but with much gilding and decoration. On both sides a deep fenced side chapel at the back is followed by a wide shallow open chapel (the left side one has the door to Saint Catherine's chapel - press the buzzer button marked Campenello and wait). Then a shallow small fenced chapel each side (the right one has the tomb of the physician Luigi Galvani) is followed by the transept and the shallow rectangular apse. Also buried here, in the centre of the nave, is the scientist Laura Bassi Veratti, the first European woman to obtain a teaching post, in 1732.
Seated in a glass case in her chapel is Saint Catherine de’ Vigri (1413-1463), also known as Santa Caterina da Bologna, locally greatly venerated. Frescoes here are by Marcantonio Franceschini, with stucco work by Giuseppe Mazza. It's a small, full and intensely Catholic space of gold and cherubs. And reliquaries and a mummified nun.
The art includes The Transit of Saint Joseph by Franceschini. Two paintings by Ludovico Carracci in the chapel of the Rosario in the right transept - The Virgin at the Liberation of the Elect from Limbo and The Assumption.

The saint and her works
Caterina was born in Bologna in 1413, the daughter of Giovanni Vigri, an ambassador of Nicolò III of Este and so was educated at the court at Ferrara court, studying Latin, script-writing, illumination, painting and music. At 13 she decided to live a life of prayer and helped found a Clarissan monastery in Ferrara called Corpus Domini. In 1456 Caterina returned to Bologna with fifteen sisters and founded a new monastery of Corpus Domini, so that after her death (on March 9th 1463) she was made the city's co-patron saint together with Saint Petronio. She was canonized in the 18th-century. Examples of her writings, and possibly paintings, are to be found in her chapel. She is probably not a rarity as a painting nun, but her fame and canonisation means that her woks get more attention and study - she became the patron saint of Bologna's painter' guild in the 17th century. There's even the violeta, the bowed instrument she played on, which is in as perfect a state of preservation as her corpse. Some of the laude and other songs found amongst her writings have been reconstructed and recorded by the excellent Italian early music group La Reverdie as I Dodici Giardini - Cantico di Santa Caterina da Bologna.

Lost art in the Pinacoteca
A small Resurrection panel by Antonio Vivarini from around 1450. A Madonna and Child with Saint Elizabeth and the Young John the Baptist (1523/5) by Innocenzo da Imola. A crowded and mannerist Adoration of the Magi by Prospero Fontana of c.1569.


Opening times
9.00 - 12.00 & 3.00 - 7.00

Capella della Santa Caterina: 9.30 - 11.30 & 4.00 - 5.45

 

 

      

The photos flanking the bomb-damage scene show the west end, with its Annunciation fresco, and the west front, before the bombing.
The Duomo
Cattedrale Metropolitana di San Pietro
v
History
Said to have been first built before the 10th century and destroyed by a fire in August 1131 and then an earthquake in 1222.
The then Archbishop Paleotti involved himself in much rebuilding in the 1560s and 70s, including the now-lost Paleotti chapel dedicated in 1593. The current baroque church was begun on 26th March 1605 by architects Floriano Ambrosini to designs by Giovanni Ambrogio Magenta, removing every trace of the Romanesque original. A new façade was added between 1743 and 1754, designed by Alfonso Torreggiani. This cathedral was never loved by the Bolognese like San Petronio, the church of their patron saint, not least because of its perception as a Petrine symbol of papal juresdiction.

Interior
As is far from uncommon for Duomos Bologna’s cathedral is not one of the most fascinating churches in the city. But it is at least baroque in a fairly restful way - the plasterwork is tastefully stony coloured and quite light on the gilding
Just inside the door are two characteristic red Verona? marble lions left over from the Romanesque building. There are five bays either side of the nave, three tall with two short between, leading to chapels of the same height.
In the first south chapel on the right is a group of figures in a terracotta tableau vivant portraying the moment between the Deposition and the Burial of Christ. It is the work of Alfonso Lombardi (1522–7) and has been restored. The polychrome was removed in the Neoclassical era, when the figures were painted white.
The altarpieces are 18th century and uninteresting. The second chapel on the right has the skull of Saint Anne, presented in 1435 by Henry VI of England to Nicolò Albergati. The decoration of the chapel - the trompe l'oeil columns and baldacchino - dates from 1906. Heavier gilding around the sanctuary, where there is a 12th. century polychrome Crucifixion group carved from cedar and looking oddly modern. The ceiling vaults above the high altar have a 1579 Paradise fresco by Prospero Fontana. The large lunette above the apse has a large Annunciation by Ludovico Carracci from 1618, his last work.
The crypt was not open when I visited, but promises 16th century frescos by Procaccini, Creti and Cremonini and bits of the old church. There's an uninteresting working sacristy also to the right of the sanctuary.
The Treasury (only open at weekends 2–5.30, entrance to the left of high altar) is five rooms of vestments, silver, processional crosses and reliquaries, as well as a damaged Madonna and Child by Lorenzo Monaco.

Lavinia Fontana was baptised here on 24th August 1552, her given name being testimony to her parents' ambitions for her, as it was then fashionable amongst the upper classes to give their children Roman names, and not the names of Christian origin favoured by the working classes.

Campanile
The second tallest tower in Bologna (70 m). Began in 1184, it was topped with a tapering roof  in 1426. Within it is a circular tower, possibly that of the original Romanesque church. The bell is called la nonna (the grandmother) and is the largest hand-rung bell in the world.

Lost art 
The chapel built here by Archbishop Gabriele Paleotti, to designs by P. Fiorini, is now lost. It was dedicated on the 8th of September 1593 after a procession leading to the installation of 153 relics, including pieces of wood from the cross, the lance, and the crib, pieces of the Virgin's clothes, and relics of local saints. The chapel was decorated with scenes from The Life of the Virgin by Bartolomeo Cesi, Ludovico Carracci, Denis Calvert, and Gian Battista Cremonini, with an altarpiece of The Assumption of the Virgin by Lavinia Fontana. All gone.
The tomb of Domenico Garganelli of 1478, the sole documented work of sculpture by Francesco del Cossa, was in the Garganelli chapel here, but is now in the Medieval Museum. As is the late 14th century tomb slab of Bartolomeo da Vernazza. And the late-14th-century tomb of lecturer and magistrate Lorenzo Pini.

Opening times

7.30 am - 6.45 pm

Campanile and Treasury - Saturday 2pm - 4.30pm
The Crypt and the Archaeological Area Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 2pm - 4.30pm.

Campanile - donation of €5

 





 

Madonna dei Poveri
via Nosadella

History

In 1317 the oratory of Santa Maria delle Laudi was built here.  A few years later a hospice for the poor was established, in 1577 becoming a confraternity church dedicated to Santa Maria Regina dei Cieli. Called the Madonna dei Poveri because of a 16th century painting which inspired local devotion. Rebuilt in 1603, which is the church you see today, but the facade is 19th century. Suppression in 1798 and then decline from the end of the 19th century. In 1912 the church passed to the Priests of the Sacred Heart, who are still here.

Interior
Sweet small and odd and nicely not too gilt. No aisles, three chapels on each side, the middle two on each side with marble fences. A square and very decorated presbytery with a trompe l'oeil frescoed dome with prophets by Gian Gioseffo Dal Sole and Tommaso Aldrovandini c. 1692. Stucco work by Giuseppe Maria Mazza who is also responsible forf the two statues of Moses and Noah, either side of the altar. The very populated stone carved and grand altar also has a mini Madonna & Child by T. Passarotti c. 1580 (see right). The middle chapel on the right had a nice Madonna and Child with Saints John the Baptist and the Evangelist by L. Massari 1603. The first right has a 14th-century detached fresco  frag of the Madonna & Child.

Opening times
7.00am / 12.00am - 4.30pm / 7.00pm
9.15am / 12.00am - 5.15pm / 7.00pm





Madonna del Monte
via dell'Osservanza


History

The Rotonda della Madonna del Monte dates back to the 12th century. Legend has it that in 1116, Picciola, daughter of Alberto Galluzzi and widow of Ottaviano Piatesi, had retreated to on what was then called the hill of St. Benedict. A dove appeared carrying pieces of wood in its beak and made a large circle with them. So Picciola felt herself divinely commanded to make a church circular in shape.
Following the victory of the Bolognese in the battle at San Giorgio di Piano where they defeated the Visconti troops a tradition of a public procession to the Madonna del Monte was established, involving the Madonna and Child panel mentioned in Lost art below, beginning on August 14, 1443. The resulting prominence brought artistic enrichment, including frescoes now lost, until 1758.
Following suppression by Napoleon the convent was demolished in the early nineteenth century. A lackey of Napoleon, the lawyer Antonio Aldini decided to build a villa up here, as Napoleon had thought highly of the views, and bought the nearby church of San Paolo in Monte and the Madonna del Monte. He demolished them and built the Villa Aldini incorporating Madonna del Monte into the Rotunda, as a dining room. But the villa, begun in 1811, suffered the decline in the fortunes of both Napoleon and Aldini and was abandoned as early as 1816. Restoration in 1938-39
Traces of the church remain, including the nineteen niches frescoed in the 12th century, a rare Bolognese Romanesque survival, looking vaery Byzantine in the photos, discovered during the 1930s restoration works. Some apostles remain and a fragment of  the face of the Virgin. Also a blessing Christ from the 15th century.

Lost art
During the late 14th century a Virgin and Child panel attributed to Simone dei Crocifissi became locally much venerated. In 1443 it took the name of the Madonna della Vittoria due to its supposed intercession in the Bolognese victory at the battle against the Visconti mentioned above. This panel is now made much of in the church of Santissimo Salvatore.

Opening times

C
urrently closed 'for reorganization reasons'.

The 12th century frescoes are supposed to be accessible thanks to the Touring Club Italiano Aperto per Voi scheme, but there is no current listing on their website.
 



San Barbaziano

History

Legend claims that there has been a church here since the 5th century, founded in 432 by Saint Petronius, with the monastery founded by Giocondo, Bishop of Bologna, in 485. There was certainly a monastery here by 1123, run by the Lateran canons. In 1480 the complex was taken over by the Girolamini order. Rebuilding of the church and convent by this order, under architect Pietro Fiorini, took place from 1608 to 1618. This work, in a mannerist style, was to make the interior more suited to the dictates of the Council of Trent. The new church had eight side chapels, some of them retained from the old church. The convent was suppressed by Napoleon on the 11th of March 1797, with the church deconsecrated and closed on the 3rd of May 1806.
The church was sold and stripped of its art and fittings and used to store hay and straw amongst other things. In 1870 it passed into military use for storage and was divided laterally. Use as a warehouse and garage followed and in 1922 there was a huge fire which damaged the walls and fittings but not the roof. In 2012 it was acquired by the Sovrintendenza per i Beni Culturali with promised to restore and put to good use for conferences and culture. Such plans, including conversion to a theatre, have been around since 1981, in fact, but it's 2018 now and the church has continued to crumble into its current sorry state.

Interior
A single nave with a chancel and choir and four chapels each side, once sponsored by the Laghi, Palmieri, Banzi Melini, Sacchi, and Zambezzari families.

Lost art
Upon deconsecration all the art was removed. This included works by Errico Fiammingo, Giuseppe Monticelli, Lonardino, Giovanni Pietro Possenti, Giacomo Francia, Alessandro Mari, Girolamo Curti (il Dentone), and Giovanni Battista Ruggieri, amongst others.

Campanile
Demolished in 1817


 
San Basilio
via Sant'Isaia
  San Benedetto



History

Originally the Carthusian church of Sant'Anna, founded in 1435 by Cardinal Nicolo Albergati, Archbishop of Bologna, to house a the head of Saint Anne which had been given to him by King Henry VI of England, in thanks for his part in soothing relations between England and France during the 100 Years’ War. This relic is now in the Duomo

In 1715 the church was rebuilt Baroquely, with  frescoes by Gioacchino Pizzoli. Suppressed by Napoleon, it fell into a state of disrepair becoming a shelter for the homeless and a salt and tar warehouse. In 1973 it passed to the Russian Orthodox Church, who renamed it and remain.

Opening times

Tuesday - Sunday 9.00 - 12.00 &  4.00 - 6.00
 


Aisleless and wide with 6 connected chapels each side. Dark gray pilasters...and then I got chucked out as the church was closing.

San Clemente


History

Built within the Collegio di Spagna (strictly the Real Colegio Mayor de San Clemente de los Españoles) the imposing 16th century main doorway to which leads into an atrium and a courtyard, with the church facing you. Over the high altar is a polyptych of the Virgin and Child with Saints by Marco Zoppo 15th century The courtyard has (had?) frescoes attributed  to Annibale Carracci the Younger. In the upper loggia is a fresco by Bartolommeo Bagnacavallo, of the Virgin and Child with Saints Elizabeth,  John, and Joseph, with an angel above scattering flowers.

Lost art
Frescoes by Camillo Procaccini in the apse, painted in 1582, were destroyed in 1914.

St Margaret by G. Francia?  (Giacomo or Giulio, both sons of Francesco)


 

San Colombano


History

Tradition has a church on this site built around 616, after monks from the abbey of San Colombano in Bobbio founded a monastery here. Saint Columbanus had founded the monastery in Bobbio in 614, dedicating it to Saint Peter.

The first documented evidence of this church dates to 1008, when Benedictines from the Abbey of St. Gall took over from the Columban monks. They were here until 1144 when then complex passed to Benedictine nuns, who remained until the early 13th century and were succeeded in turn by Carmelites and Poor Clares. Unrest amongst the nuns broke out in April 1304 over the election of two abbesses at the same time. After brawls broke out between the nuns, the bishop decided to suppress the monastery and keep the church.
Following many changes of ownership, in 1679 the complex was sold to the Republic of Lucca who used it as a boarding house for students at Bologna University. After further changes of ownership the church was suppressed and closed 1798. In 1891 the church reopened by the Congregazione della Beata, who also undertook restoration. Vergine Deconsecrated in 1959, it was finally bought in 2005 by the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio who, after restoration work, opened it in 2010 to house the Tagliavini Collection of historical musical instruments. Concerts and classes are held here.

The church
The main church downstairs, consisting of a nave with side aisles, has four bays each side, the last pair architecturally and decoratively suggestive of a transept. There is a 15th century fresco panel of the Virgin and Child Enthroned with Saints, in each of the second bays, said to both be by local artists. Also a 13th century Crucifixion fresco, half in the crypt and half in the church, attributed to Giunta Pisano.
The Chapel of the Madonna dell'Orazione (through the door on the right) was built in 1591 to house a fresco of the Virgin and Child, painted in 1399 by Lippo di Dalmasio which had been placed on the outside wall of the church in 1547, becoming the subject of local devotion and pilgrimage. It is now set into the altar. The fresco panels in here, of New Testament scenes, is by a later generation of Carracci followers than those who worked upstairs in the Oratory- Lucio Massari, Lorenzo Garbieri, Lionello Spada, Antonio and Paolo Carracci, Agostino's son and Ludovico's younger brother. The recently-uncovered trompe l'oeil ceiling frescoes are by Flamino Minozzi. From the late 1920s to 2005 the chapel was the headquarters of the Associazione Mutilati e Invalidi di Guerra.



The Oratory on the first floor (see photo above), was decorated in 1600 with 11 (12 originally?) fresco scenes from The Passion of Christ by pupils of Ludovico Carracci, including Guido Reni, Francesco Albani, Domenichino, Lucio Massari, Francesco Brizio and Lorenzo Garbieri. There is also a flat, beamed and very decorated ceiling. The altarpiece is by Albani.

The crypt
The 2007 renovation led to the discovery of a late-Roman crypt below the apse of the church and a 12th century sepulchre. The work also revealed a centuries-buried 13th century fresco of The Crucifixion with the Virgin attributed to Giunta Pisano.

Part of the Genus Bononiae - Museums in the City cultural itinerary/walk.

Opening times
Tuesday to Sunday 10.00am - 7.00pm
Closed Mondays.
 



San Domenico
Piazza San Domenico

History

Saint Dominic, founder (in 1216) of the order of Preaching Friars, died here (having come to preside over the second General Chapter meeting of his order) in 1221, two years after establishing the monastery on this site. He was buried here, in the church then called San Nicolò. His burial place soon became famous for miracle cures and Ex voto offerings began to accumulate - wax images of the eyes, hands, feet, and other parts that had been cured of afflictions. The friars found all this inappropriate to the humility of their order and removed and destroyed the offerings and forbade these offerings and drapings with silk textiles. This state of affairs lasted for 12 years, before a chapter meeting of 1233 decided to move the saint's body. During translation it was found to be perfectly preserved, of course, with an odour of sanctity about it. His canonisation naturally followed upon this discovery, in 1234, thirteen years after his death. The saint's new resting place was in a less holy but more accessible position, where he remains, to encourage lay devotion and, it was hoped, a cult to rival that of Saint Francis. This was only slowly achieved, Dominic being a more retiring founder, having not written a Rule for his order, and only slowly appearing in works of writing and art. The church was built in late Romanesque style from 1228 to 1238, and dedicated to the saint by Pope Innocent IV in 1251.

The façade
Restored in 1910, presumably after the postcard photograph (see far below right) was taken. To the left is the Ghisilardi chapel by Baldassarre Peruzzi (1530-35) which is rarely open.

Interior
White, with chandeliers, dating from its remodelling by Carlo Francesco Dotti from 1728–31. A nave and two aisles, with 17th/18th century art in the chapels. Moving from the back there are five bays, three low and two high then a transept effect, with the chapel of Saint Dominic as the right arm. Then four more bays, two shallow and two deep, with the first left-hand deep bay leading to the enclosed, tall and large... Then there's the real transept and a long sanctuary with a choir.
Starting on the left, in the north aisle, over the second altar is Saint Raymond of Penyofort by Ludovico Carracci. The very decorated chapel of the Rosario (opposite that of Saint Dominic) overpowers an altarpiece incorporating  fifteen small and dark paintings of the Mysteries of the Rosary by Ludovico Carracci, Lavinia Fontana, Bartolomeo Cesi, Denys Calvaert, Alessandro Tiarini, Guido Reni (who is buried in this chapel) and Francesco Albani. Legend has it that the Virgin gave a rosary to Saint Dominic as protection against Albigensianism, and for much of the Middle Ages Confraternities of the Rosary were under Dominican control.
In the north transept, an inscription of 1731 marks the tomb of King Enzo. The adjoining (fenced off) chapel has a c.1234-60 painted Crucifix signed by Giunta Pisano. The Dominicans thereby followed the lead of the Franciscans in Assisi in their commissioning of Giunta to paint a Crucifix with the more Byzantine-influenced iconography of a dead (or dying) Christ, rather than the then more usual triumphant representation. To the left of the sanctuary is the chapel of SS Sacramento, to the right is a small chapel containing a lovely Mystic Marriage of St Catherine with Saints John the Baptist, Peter, Paul, and Sebastian of 1501 by Filippino Lippi.

Through here you can access (after making a €1 donation) a sequence of special spaces. Firstly the bright choir with its intarsia, stalls and lectern (1541–51) by Fra Damiano da Bergamo. Panels depicting episodes from the New testament are on the left, with the old testament on the right right, with 7 episodes ??? in the centre. The huge altarpiece here in a gilded frame is an Adoration of the Magi by Bartolomeo Cesi, flanked by panels depicting Saint Nicholas of Bari and Saint Dominic, also by Cesi. Below is a predella with a Last Supper by Vincenzo Spisanelli.
The (closed on my visit) museum is next. It contains a marble bust of Saint Dominic by Nicola Pisano and a polychrome terracotta half-length figure of the saint reading. Also a figure by Niccolò dell’Arca, the 14th century Madonna of the Velvet by Lippo di Dalmasio,  frescoes by Lodovico Carracci (depicting The Charity and Saint Francis) and Bernardino Luini, and intarsia panels by Fra Damiano.

Beyond the sacristy, through a door off the right transept, where there is a painting by Guercino of Saint Thomas Aquinas from 1662,  before you return to the main church, is the 14th/15th century Cloister of the Dead, its fourth side protruded into by the the apse of the Chapel of St Dominic (see photo below) . This cloister is where foreigners who died in Bologna were buried - an easily missable slab opposite the aforementioned apse marks the burial place of  persons from Britain.



Back in the church the highlight Chapel of St Dominic, off of the south aisle, was rebuilt in 1597–1605 by Floriano Ambrosini and restored in the 19th century. It has Saint Dominic in Glory by Guido Reni in the apse semi-dome, and provides a very decorated setting for the famous sarcophagus, where the saint is buried. This has high relief scenes from the saint’s life, carved in 1265-7 to designs by Nicola Pisano, but mostly by his pupils, including Fra’ Guglielmo, Pagno di Lapo and the much more famous Arnolfo di Cambio. On the front two episodes flank a statuette of the Madonna and Child, one shows the miraculous resurrection by the Virgin of a young man who had fallen from his horse, and the other the saint with a holy text written by him which has survived the flames of the fire below (where pagan texts are burning). The latter episode happened after some judges were unable to solve a dispute between Dominic and an erudite pagan and so ordered that both texts be burnt. (or St Dominic throws a book of orthodox learning into a fire to show some Cathars, when it doesn't burn, the error of their ways.) These episodes show how Dominic is more often portrayed as an intercessor, in contrast to Saint Francis's more active role as alter Christus.

The lid of the sarcophagus and its crowning sculpture was designed by Niccolò dell’Arca, who took his name from this very tomb (arca). It has eight statuettes of the protectors of Bologna. Three years after Niccolò’s death in 1492, the young Michelangelo, who was staying for a year with Gianfrancesco Aldovrandi, carved two of these statuettes - Saint Petronius holding a model of Bologna (with his right leg extended) and (behind) Saint Proculus, with a cloak over his left shoulder (next to Saint John the Baptist, which was the last sculpture to be made for the monument in 1539). Michelangelo also carved the right-hand angel, kneeling and holding a candlestick, as a pair to the left-hand angel by Niccolò dell’Arca, which is much sweeter than Michelangelo's beefier version.
The small reliefs between the two angels are by Alfonso Lombardi (1532). They illustrate (on either side of a central Adoration of the Magi) the birth of Saint Dominic, the penitent Dominic asleep on the hard floor, his selling his books to help the poor, and his climbing to heaven on a ladder held up by the Redeemer and the Madonna. The altar beneath is 18th century. A illuminated niche around the back contains a sparkly reliquary of 1383 by Jacopo Roseto da Bologna, made to house the saint’s skull. The sarcophagus is crowned by a figure of The Redeemer Holding the World, standing on a terrestrial globe. Below are festoons of fruit, representing the Earth, held up by putti, and eight dolphins representing the sea. Two angels kneel on either side of Christ in Pietà and at the four corners there are figures of the Evangelists, in exotic head-dresses. This upper part of the monument is also the work of Niccolò dell’Arca.

Also buried here
The funeral of painter Elisabetta Sirani was held here in 1665. She was a celebrated and successful artist, and teacher of many female artists, who died after two days in agony at the age of  27. Rumours then started to circulate that she had been poisoned, but she more likely died of peritonitis after a ruptured peptic ulcer. She is buried along with Guido Reni, her father's teacher, in the Rosary Chapel here.

Lost art in the Pinacoteca
A large polyptych by Simone dei Crocefissi of c.1365/70, showing the Coronation of the Virgin in the centre with 18 Saints, a Crucifixion and a Resurrection.  A Last Supper panel by Andrea di Bartolo (c.1420) (see right) from the room of the inquisition here. The Massacre of the Innocents by Guido Reni, (1611) was commissioned for the Berò (later Ghisilieri) chapel here. It was looted by Napoleon for the Louvre in 1796, was returned in 1815 and since 1817 has been in the Pinacoteca.

Lost glass and stone (and embroidery)
in the Medieval Museum
A fine 13th century French stained glass panel depicting The Crucifixion, is now in the Medieval Museum. As is an opus anglicanum embroidered cloak from the early 14th century with scenes from the life of the Virgin and Christ, and a panel showing the martyrdom of Thomas Becket. The latter reflects the patron's recognition of the authority of the pope as Becket had been murdered for refusing to admit the superior authority of the king. The spectacular tomb of law professor Bartolomeo da Saliceto by Andrea da Fiesole from 1412, and parts of the late-14th century tomb of jurist Giovanni da Legnano by Venetians Iacobello and Pier Paolo Masagne, once in the right transept here. From the left transept the tomb of Giovanni d'Andrea, another jurist, who died in the plague of 1348, is also in the Medieval Museum's room of tombs. The tombstone of the Bolognese knight Filippo of the Desideri, from the first half of the 14th century, by Arriguzzo Trevisano. From the cloister here both the 1330 tomb of Matteo Gandoni, made by the Ventura studio and the early 14th century tomb of Bonifacio Galluzzi, the latter by Bettino da Bologna. The early 15th century limestone tomb slab of master Pietro D'Ancarano.
An early 16th century illuminated psalter, on display in the Medieval Museum, the work of Giovanni Battista Cavallotto.


The church in art
Friars in the San Domenico Choir in Bologna 1892 by Giovanni Masotti (see right). Piazza San Domenico in Bologna c.1880 by F. Mironi (see above right).

Opening times

Monday to Friday 9.00 - 12.00 and 3.30 - 6.00Monday to Friday 9.00 - 12.00 and 3.30 - 6.00
Saturday 9.00 - 12.00 and 3.30 - 5.00 Sunday 3.30 - 5.000


The 1300 tomb of Rolandino Aseggeri  following an allied bombing raid in 1943,
 despite being protected by a brick hut.










 

San Donato
Piazzetta Achille Ardigò
San Fillipi


History

Some sources date an original church to 1210, and a fire in that year is mentioned.
But it seems it was built in 1454 originally, with the present church dating to the mid-18th century. Some historical sources claim that in 1505 the church was ruined by an earthquake. Suppressed on July 24, 1805

The façade
The 1751 architectural painting of the façade by Francesco Orlandi have faded badly, but tastefully.


Interior
Aisleless grey and gilt and baroque. Three chapels each side, all shallow except the first on the left. The ceiling and the arches of the chapels are all frescoed. 17th and 18th century altarpieces, the best by Marc'antonio Franceschini and Guercino. The latter's being the Ecstasy of San Filippo Neri in the big chapel devoted to the saint.

San Francesco
Piazza San Francesco
v
History

The Franciscans came here in 1236 and this church was completed early in 1263, but the church has been very altered since. Considerable work between 1886 and 1906, and then in 1948 after much bomb damage (see photo far below).

The church
The broadly Romanesque façade of c.1250 has two 8th century plutei carved with animals and birds either side of the door and 13th/14th century majolica plaques in the pitch of the roof.
In the bosky churchyard beside the east end and backed by its Gothic buttresses are three tombs raised on columns with green pyramidal tiled roofs of the 13th century (restored in 1891). These are the tombs of Glossators -  writers of legal commentaries (or glosses).
The entrance from the churchyard is through a side door under a porch between the two towers

Interior
Big with a bare dark nave with two aisles, left stripped by the post-war rebuilding. Six hexagonal brick pillars and brick vaulting and many tombs along the walls. The sanctuary is more brightly lit, with an ambulatory on striped clusters of columns. There are taller arches in the bays before the Sanctuary which gives a crossing effect but with no actual transept.
Excavations in the 1890s carried out by Alfonso Rubbiani revealed the foundations of an arcaded tremezzo (screen) between the nave and choir and detailed drawings of these were fortunately made. The upper storey of the screen had its own altars, as well as those at ground level. Very few of these screens remain, and there has been much recent research into their structure and function.
The spectacular marble reredos is by the brothers Jacobello and Pier Paolo dalle Masegne (1388–92) who also worked in Venice, on the exterior of the Palazzo Ducale and in San Marco. The walls here have large high-up detached fresco panels by Francesco da Rimini. The nine radiating chapels in the ambulatory are frescoed darkly in different styles with an odd mixture of 14th to 20th century art inside them. The central one has a 14th century painted Crucifix attributed to Pietro Lianori. To the left is a chapel with a gold-ground Madonna and Saints by Jacopo Forti (1485).

The late-14th century sacristy is by Antonio di Vicenzo.

The left aisle was all closed off when I visited in March 2017, and has been since the earthquake of 2014 did some damage. It contains the rather special polychrome terracotta tomb of Pope Alexander V,
with an effigy by Niccolò di Pietro Lamberti (1423) (see right). The lower part with angels, added in 1482, is fine work by Sperandio da Mantova.

Lost art in the Pinacoteca
Two detached fresco fragments by Francesco da Rimini from around 1320, showing three figures and four figures, the latter very damaged, taken from the old refectory here. They look very Lorenzetti.
A damaged Crucifix from around 1415 and a large panel of Saint Bernardino and Stories from his Life from 1451, both by Giovanni da Modena.
A large detached fresco of the Last Supper with Saints Catherine, Louis of Toulouse, and Francis and the archangel Raphael by Vitale da Bologna before 1340.
A Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine with Saint Anthony of Padua and the Young John the Baptist by Giuliano Bugiardini (c.1525) from the Albergati chapel here. A Madonna and Child with Saints George, Sebastian, Francis and Bernardino and the Young John the Baptist, with angels (1526) by the Francia, from the Felicini chapel here.
A God the Father panel by Lodovico Mazzolino (1524) from the Caprara chapel here.
An interior Adoration of the Shepherds by Camillo Procaccini of 1584. A buttery-coloured  Incarnation of the Virgin by Bartolomeo Cesi of c.1593/5, from the Desideri chapel here. An Assumption of 1592 by Annibale Carracci from the Bonasoni chapel here. A crowded Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine with Saints Petronius, Procolo, Domenic, Francis and Floriano by Pietro Faccini from c.1601.

in the Medieval Museum
A window with the stemma of the Marescalchi family dated 1484. A c.11th century carved limestone panel (see right) used as a part of a wall and later, in the 15th century, as part of the tomb of Gemignano Inghirani here. The tombstone of Bernardino Zambeccari, made by Andrea da Fiesole in the first quarter of the 15th century, and that of Giacomo Guarini, from the same period. Also one for Paolo and Girolamo Scriba from the end of the 15th century. A Gradual, Proper and Common of Saints, a choir book of c.1285 by the Gerona Bible Master. This master, and his collaborators, being amongst the very best of the illuminators for which Bologna was renowned in the 13th and 14th centuries.


Campanili

The main one, the work of Antonio di Vincenzo, was built in the 14th and 15th centuries and is surrounded by decorative terracotta. The smaller one  was completed in 1261.

Opening times
Daily 6.30 - 12.00 am and 3.00 - 7.00 pm

 



 








 

San Giacomo Maggiore
Piazza Rossini
v

History
There was a Romanesque church here, built by Augustinians between in 1267 and 1343, but the church has been much rebuilt. In the late 15th century the interior was remade in Renaissance style and the side portico was built. By the 16th century it had become THE church for Bologna's noble families. The monastery was suppressed by Napoleon 1779-1810

Façade
Topped by a statue of the saint with a rose window and burial niches at ground level. The very damaged triptych of frescoes of the Virgin and Child with Saints James the Great and Augustine over the portico entrance to the left of the façade are by Antonio Leonelli da Crevalcore, his first known work.

Interior
An aisleless nave, the chapels are crowned with a terracotta frieze of statues of Christ and the Apostles and urns, added in 1727. This is a church of much fresco fascination, both complete and in tantalising patches. The best stuff is in the ambulatory chapels.
The less-interesting nave has 17th and 18th century works, mostly, in nine chapels on each side, all frescoed on their side walls. Each group of three chapels has a ledge with statues of two saints above and a window, real or trompe l'oeil, behind (see photo below right).

The second chapel on the left side has a fine Cena del Signore by Federico Barocci. The fourth on the right is made much of and is dedicated to Saint Rita. In the fifth chapel on the right is a large altarpiece of The Madonna and Saints (8) of 1565 by Bartolomeo Passarotti, with a strange naked smiling and pointing figure front centre, in a frame by the workshop of Formigine (and a scagliola altar frontal dating from 1674) In the ninth chapel is a dark painting of Saint Roch by Ludovico Carracci. The largest chapel on the right side, making a sort of transept arm at the entrance to the ambulatory, has Mannerist frescoes by Pellegrino Tibaldi of 1555. The altarpiece here is a Baptism of similar date by Prospero Fontana.
The facing last chapel before the ambulatory, on the north side, has a very Mannerist (in colour and vigour) Martyrdom of Saint Catherine by Tiburzio Passarotti (1577), and in the chapel to its left is a Madonna in Glory with Saint Nicholas and the Three Daughters by Bartolomeo Cesi. On the high altar is a polyptych of the Coronation of the Virgin and Saints by Jacopo di Paolo of c.1420. Above hangs a large painted Crucifix, also by him. The huge altarpiece of The Resurrection on the east wall behind, in the very chunky gilt frame under the scalloped apse, is by Tommaso Laureti (1574).
The sequence of highlights in the ambulatory chapels begin, from the right, in the second chapel with its fine polyptych by Paolo Veneziano, dating from before 1344. It 21 panels, of varying sizes, feature representations of Saints Martin and George on horseback top right and top left and three scenes from the life of Saint Nicholas of Tolentino in the lower centre, below a cross-shaped reliquary space where there may once have been another painting. The damaged detached frescoes in here of the Life of Saint Mary of Egypt by Cristoforo da Bologna also date from the late 14th century. In the third chapel (see photo left) is a Crucifix signed and dated 1370 by Simone dei Crocifissi. There's a studio of Guercini Saint Jerome in this chapel too, as well as another polyptych, of The Coronation of the Virgin with Saints, by Jacopo di Paolo, painted around the same time as his high altarpiece.

The Cappella Bentivoglio (see photo right) ends the sequence of chapels in the right wing. It has a coin-operated light, but the gate is kept closed, except on Saturday mornings from 9.30 to 12. 30, thanks to the Touring Club of Italy. It was built  in 1451 for Annibale Bentivoglio, who had ruled Bologna until his assassination in 1445, and whose forebears had suffered similar fates. It was enlarged by Giovanni II Bentivoglio, who himself ruled from 1463 until 1506 when the Bentivoglio were ousted by Pope Julius II. He wanted to reclaim Bologna for the Papal States and found willing allies in the members of the other noble families of Bologna keen to reclaim the power and properties that the Bentivoglio had hoarded.
It has a domed centrally-planned design, supposedly inspired by Brunelleschi but much more decorated - the architect was Pagno di Lapo Portigiani. It has decorations dating from the 1480s and 90s. There's a c.1494 Sacra Conversazione altarpiece by Francesco Francia with The Madonna and Child with Saints George, Petronio? John the Evangelist, and Sebastian, and frescoes by Francia's frequent collaborator Lorenzo Costa. Costa’s frescoes on the left wall depict The Apocalypse (in the lunette) and The Triumph of Fame and Death (1490) in the panel below. The one on the right wall looks a little flat and shows The Madonna Enthroned with Giovanni II Bentivoglio and his Family from 1488,  featuring 11 children. The relief of Annibale on horseback dating from 1458 was inserted to the right into a previous? landscape fresco. The original, and very worn, majolica floor tiles remain, are credited to the della Robbia workshop, and are to be admired. There are three more frescoed lunettes on the walls above by a pupil of Costa. The left one has lost its middle third... Annunciation in? by?
Against the sanctuary wall, opposite the chapel, is the tomb of Antonio Galeazzo Bentivoglio, Annibale’s father, who had been interred originally  in the church of San Cristoforo del Ballatoia, but whose reamins where brought here after Annibale's purchase of the chapel opposite.
It has a panel showing him sitting at his desk surrounded by pupils below his effigy (see photo right). This is one of the last works of Jacopo della Quercia, and assistants from 1435.
A nearby chapel (the Calcina) is said to contain an Enthroned Madonna and Child with Saints Catherine of Alexandria, Cosmas and Damian and a Donor (1589) by Lavinia Fontana. The donor being Scipione Calcina, a banker who commissioned the work to ingratiate himself back into Bolognese society and demonstrate his commitment to his new wife, named Catherine. He needed to marry and ingratiate after having been fined massively and banished from Bologna for the crime of sodomy.

Lost art
Two panel fragments from a polyptych by Lorenzo Veneziano, showing Saints  Anthony Abbot and Bartholomew (1368) from the monastery here are now in the Pinacoteca. As is a fresco panel of the Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints James and John the Baptist by Jacopo da Bologna (c.1350/60).
Also there is  a large fresco panel of Saint James at the Battle of Clavijo (c.1315/1320) by the Pseudo-Jacopino. This mythical battle happened sometime in the mid-9th century. Saint James is said to have appeared, 800 years after his death, and lead the Spanish Christians to defeat the Muslims.
The early 14th century Istrian stone tomb of Bonandrea de' Bonandrei is now in the Medieval Museum.
A circular Man of Sorrows by Francia, from the Bentivoglio chapel here, is now in the Pinacoteca.





The church in art
Portico of via S. Donato and facade of S. Giacomo Maggiore
by Antonio Basoli (1774-1848) (See right.)




 

Opening times
Monday to Friday - 7.30 - 12.30 and 3.30 - 6.30
Saturday, Sunday and holidays - 8.30 am - 12.30 am and 3.00 - 6.30 pm.

On Saturday mornings the Touring Club of Italy opens the Bentivoglio Chapel from 9.30 am to 12.30

Santa Cecilia
Leaving San Giacomo Maggiore and turning right takes you along a Renaissance portico, added in 1478-1481 by Giovanni II Bentivoglio and now blighted with graffiti, to the former church of Santa Cecilia.

History
The early history of this church is vaguely documented. We know that in 1323 it passed from the order of the Santuccia Terrabotti to the Augustinian monks of San Giacomo Maggiore, who rebuilt in 1359. And so it remained until suppression in 1805.

Interior
Frescoed for Giovanni II Bentivoglio from 1504 to 1506 by Francesco Francia, Lorenzo Costa and their pupils, including Amico Aspertini, with ten scenes from the life of the virgin martyr Saint Cecilia. Starting to the left of the altar they show, her (forced) marriage to the pagan Valerian, the conversion of Valerian by Pope Urban, the baptism of Valerian by Urban, an angel crowning Cecilia and Valerian with martyrdom, the martyrdom of Valerian and his brother Tiburtius, their burial back right, the trial of Cecilia in which she is condemned to death, the (attempted) martyrdom of Cecilia; Cecilia dispensing charity (after being beheaded) and the burial of Cecilia (with her head). The altarpiece of The Crucifixion with five Saints, The Virgin, Francis, Mary Magdalene, Saint Honofrius(?), and John the Evangelist is by Francia. The narthex bit is also frescoed, and leads to some sweet little cloister areas with odd fresco patches.
 














San Giorgio in Poggiale

History

Legend suggests Lombard origins, but the current church dates to a rebuilding by architect Tommaso Martelli between 1589 and 1633. Occupied by Servites until 1798, suppressed by Napoleon, then in 1882 the church passed to the Jesuits who remained until the complex was severely damaged during bombing on the 25th of September 1943. Following deconsecration and stripping of all art works the church was nearly demolished between 1959 and 1962. The buildings were later acquired by the Cassa di Risparmio/Fondazione Carisbo and reopened in 2010 as a cultural centre housing a library (in what was the church) and newspaper and photo archives. 21st century artworks fill the chapels and apse.

Interior
Very scrubbed up and clean inside, with desks on a raised platform in the centre of the nave and bookshelves in the five shallow chapels each side. Some few fragments of decoration remain in a couple of the chapels, and in what was the presbytery too, which also has two statues and the church bell on a pile of books.

Part of the Genus Bononiae - Museums in the City cultural itinerary/walk.

Opening times

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 9.00 - 1.00
Tuesday 9.00-5.00

San Giovanni Battista dei Celestini
Piazza dei Celestini


History
The Celestine order came to Bologna in 1368 and built a monastery and church dedicated to Saint John the Baptist. In 1535-1554 the church was rebuilt in its cureent form, 1560-1561 the convent was rebuilt and in 1580 the campanile was added. Further reconstruction Carlo Francesco Dotti and Francesco Tadolini during the 18th century. In 1797, the Celestines were suppressed by Napoleon, but the church continued as a parish church until 1987, with the Lateran Canons taking over in 1824.Lateran Canons taking over in 1824.

The former convent has been used for meetings of the Council of  the Trenta and various government and public offices - initially, in September 1798 it was used for the administration of the lottery, then as a registry office, the office for conscripts, and the archive of suppressed religious organisations.  It was rebuilt in the mid-19th century to house a school for engineers and since 2011 it has housed the Archivio di Stato.

Interior
Small and aisleless, but totally decorated. Four chapels each side, all marble clad and with painted altarpieces. Three shallow-effect trompe l'oeil dome scenes in the nave. Square Sanctuary/Apse frescoed in its dome with the Glorification of San Pier Celestino by Giovanni Burrini 1656-1727 and with mock fresco balconies on the walls by Giovanni Battista Baldi. Quite a plain chapel to the right, beyond the door to the sacristy. There's an organ gallery over the entrance and nun's galleries flanking the sanctuary. Over the high altar is a bland 1688 Virgin and Child with Saints John the Baptist, Luke and Peter by Marcantonio Franceschini. Much ordinary 17th and 19th century art. The second chapel on the left has a (grown up) Tobias and the Angel by Gianbattista Bertusio (a pupil of Lodovico Carracci) from 1644, which was taken from the suppressed church of St Michele Angelo detta del Pontichello.

Lost art

The Birth of John the Baptist by Lodovico Carracci from 1603, from the high altar here, is in the Pinacoteca.

Opening times
8.00-1200 & 3.00-8.00



An 18th-century engraving by Pio Panfili.

San Giovanni in Monte
Piazza San Giovanni in Monte

History

A round church is said to have been founded here by Saint Petronius in 433 and to have been called the Monte Oliveto. The first written record of the church dates from 1045. Around 1118 the Canons Regular of the Lateran moved here and they restored and enlarged the old church in 1286 and built the current, late Gothic church c.1450, with a 1474 facade in Renaissance style.
The Canons Regular were expelled by Napoleon who looted some of the art for removal to the Louvre. (See Lost art below).  In 1824 the floor was replaced, with the floor tombs moved to the walls. The church was badly damaged by bombing on the 29th of January 1944, with three chapels destroyed and much damage to some others, the portico, and the vault. Restoration between 1947 and 1950.
In 1800 the 16th century convent was converted into a prison which it remained until 1984. It was also used as a headquarters and for interrogations by the SS - between 1943 and 1944 it was used to house Jewish prisoners before 'transfer'. From 1985 restoration work took place and since 1996 it has housed various university departments.

Façade
The façade, which looks very Venetian Renaissance, has a projecting porch of 1474, with St John the Evangelist’s eagle in painted terracotta by Niccolò dell’Arca c.1480 in the lunette above.

Interior
What seems to be the dominant Bologna style -  hexagonal brick pillars (four each side here) separating the nave from the aisles (tall and thin here), with brick arches and vaulting above (finished in 1603) and white walls. The octagonal dome was built in 1496. There are dark latish-looking (16th century?) fresco figures of saints, monks and popes on the west and east facing sides of the pillars.and popes on the west and east facing sides of the pillars.
On the entrance wall, above the door, is Saint John writing the Book of Revelation a stained-glass tondo designed by Ercole de’ Roberti or Lorenzo Costa. There's an inverted Roman pillar  half way down the nave in the centre, topped by a small 8th century Romanesque cross, with a wooden figure of Christ, from the 16th century, attributed to the brothers Gian Giacomo and Giovanni del Maino from Lombardy.
Note the unobvious light switches by the chapels. There are five short and one tall (before the transept) chapels on the left (one chapel space is replaced by doors) with six short and one tall on the right. The chapels are variously decorated. The very decorated one second on the left has a Saint Francis from 1645 by Guercino. There is a 'studio of' Guercino in the fifth chapel on the right. The third has Saint Laurence being grilled in impressive perspective by Pietro Facini from 1590. But it is seventh, taller, chapel on this side that has the highlight Lorenzo Costa, his Ghedini Madonna and Child with Saints and Two Angel Musicians of 1497, showing the Bellini-influence benefit of his recent trip with Francia to Venice.
Behind the altar is a choir with 53 seats with intarsia work panels by Paolo Sacca, an artist from Cremona, made between 1518 and 1523. Over the choir hangs a small 14th century painted Crucifix by the Pseudo Jacopino di Francesco. On the back wall in a huge gilt frame flanked by trompe l'oeil figures, is the none-too-visible altarpiece the  Coronation of the Virgin  of 1501 by Lorenzo Costa.
The north transept was built in 1514 to designs by Arduino Arriguzzi for the blessed Elena Duglioli Dall’Oglio (1472–1520), who is buried here. The gilded angels behind her sarcophagus were made by the workshop of Francia to a design by Raphael, Elena also having commissioned from Raphael the famous Saint Cecilia altarpiece for this chapel, which is now in the Pinacoteca, having been replaced here by a poor copy in 1861, but the original frame by Formigine remains. In the chapel left of the sanctuary there is a 19th century enamelled ceramic relief by the local Minghetti workshop.
In a chapel in the south transept is a tondo of the Madonna della Sanità, frescoed by Giovanni da Modena in the early 15th century and now set into a much later and soppier-looking painting.

Lost art
A small Cima da Conegliano Madonna and Child (c.1495) from the small sacristy here, the huge Madonna of the Rosary (1617-21) by Domenichino, the Madonna and Child in Glory with Saints John the Evangelist, Apollonia, Catherine of Alexandria and  Michael by Perugino (c.1500), and The Ecstasy of Saint Cecilia (1516/17) by Raphael mentioned above. All are now in the Pinacoteca. As is a panel depicting the Madonna and Child Enthroned with Two Angels (1493) by the Maestro di Ambrogio Saraceno.
Until 1752 the sanctuary housed a polyptych by Ercole de' Roberti, now divided between Dresden and Liverpool.
A late 15th century illuminated psalter, on display in the Medieval Museum.

Campanile
Over 40m high, it was finished in the 14th century, its base dating back to the 13th.

Opening times
Daily 7.30am - 12.00 am and 4.00pm - 7.00 pm.





 


 

 

San Girolamo della Certosa
via della Certosa


History

The monastery was named by the Carthusians who settled here in 1333, the first stone was laid on 17th April 1334, the church was consecrated on 2nd June 1359. Little of this medieval church remains. Much post-Council of Trent internal  rebuilding work in the 16th century, adding the transept and chapels, during which the Bartolomeo Cesi decorated the sanctuary. Entranced porch enlarged in 1768 by the architect Gian Giacomo Dotti. The monastery was suppressed by Napoleon in 1797.

Interior
Has an unusual inverted T-shaped plan. Inlaid wooden choir stalls by Biagio de' Marchi from 1539 after a fire, probably to designs replicating original stalls of 1538. Separate monks choir. Over the high altar is The Crucifixion by Bartolomeo Cesi, with, to the left, the Prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane and to the right a Deposition, both also by Cesi.

Campanile
Built 1611 by the architect Tommaso Martelli to replace the original small belfry of the 14th century.

Lost art in the Pinacoteca
Works by Antonio and Bartolomeo Vivarini,  (a spectacular polyptych of 1450 painted for the high altar here) Ludovico and Agostino Carracci (The Communion of St. Jerome), and Guercino The Vision of St. Bruno (1647), were looted from the chapels here and taken to Paris by Napoleon, and later returned to the Pinacoteca. San Bernardino di Siena by Amico Aspertini. A Flagellation by Ludovico Carracci 1597/1599 and The Preaching of Saint John the Baptist from 1592. The bustling Last Communion of Saint Jerome by Agostino Carracci 1591-1597. Saint Bruno in Adoration of the Madonna and Child in Glory by Guercino from 1647.

Opening times
Daily summer 8.00 - 12.00 & 2.30 - 5.45

winter 8.00 - 12.00 & 2.30 & 4.45

Certosa Historic Monumental Cemetery
The monastery cloisters and grounds became the city cemetery in 1801. The discovery of an Etruscan tomb here resulted in major excavation work, uncovering the Etruscan necropolis of Felsina and leading to the founding of the Museo Civico Archaeologico in 1881, to house mostly the items found here. Amongst those buried here are the singers Farinelli and Lucio Dalla, artists Mauro and Gaetano Gandolfi and Giorgio Morandi, the composer Respighi and motor manufacturers Alfieri Maserati and Ferruccio Lamborghini.

Cemetery opening times
summer: (from 1/3 to 2/11) from 7.00am to 6.00pm
winter: (from 3/11 to 28/02) from 8.00am to 5.00pm
 







San Giuliano
 via Santo Stefano

History
A parish church has been on this site since the 12th century, but the current church and bell-tower date to a rebuilding of  1778-1781 to designs by Angelo Venturoli. In the fifteenth century it was occupied by Vallombrosian monks from Castiglione dei Pepoli and was suppressed in 1798.

Interior
The stucco work inside is by G. Rossi and A. Moghini. The statues of the Evangelists and Prophets (1781) are by Ubaldo Gandolfi. The late 19th-century frescoes on the ceiling and apse are by Alessandro Guardassoni and Luigi Samoggia. The rectory has a fresco depicting the life of the Cardinal Gabriele Paleotti (c. 1610) by Alessandro Tiarini, a pupik of Prospero Fontana and Guido Reni.

Campanile
Also dating to 1781 and the work of Venturoli.


A postcard from c.1910/20





San Giuseppe


History

The church and hospital of the Compagnia dei Vecchi settuagenari was built in the 16th century, was enlarged and rebuilt during the17th and 18th centuries. The company was suppressed by Napoleon and the church closed. It reopened in 1817 but was demolished in 1888 to make way for road building and such. A new church was built further back from the road.

rebuilt for capuchin monks in 1841 has a Crucifixion by Prospero Fontana in the choir

the convent houses the Museo Provinciale dei Minori Cappuccini, which has much art but is closed currently.


Lost art
The Dream of Saint Joseph, Birth of Christ, and Flight into Egypt by Il Cotignola of 1522/24 is in the Pinacoteca.

San Luca
The Sanctuary of the Madonna of San Luca


History

The Sanctuary of the Madonna of San Luca is sited on a hill south-west of the city. Tradition states that it was built on the site of small 12th century hermitage chapel tended by two holy women, Azzolina and Beatrice Guezi, to house a miracle-working icon of the Black Madonna and Child (see right) now covered with a 17th-century silver revetment. It was probably made between the 9th and 11th centuries and was brought from the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople by Theocles a pilgrim in the 12th century, after the crusades. As is not unusual with such images, legend has it that it was painted by Saint Luke himself.
Construction work began in 1193. In 1294 Dominican monks, from the monastery of Ronzano, took over the site, rebuilding in the 15th century, and the order remained here until the Napoleonic suppression of 1799. The present church was built in 1723 - 1757 to designs by Carlo Francesco Dotti, who was also remodelling the interior of San Domenico at the same time. The lateral external tribunes were built by Carlo Francesco's son, Giovanni Giacomo, in 1774 using his father's plans.

Interior
 The centrally-planned interior is curvy - all stucco and gilt with a pair of lateral large central chapels and four smaller ones in the corners. Looming and domey. Dark marble and decoration is dominant in the presbytery. The central cupola fresco is early 20th century by Giuseppe Cassioli.
The famed Byzantine Madonna & Child icon (see right) is kept behind glass and a considerable 17th century worked revetment, in a raised cherub-filled chapel behind the altar. The icon is said to have been made between the 9th and 11th centuries, was acquired during the crusades and was retouched by a local artist.

Ordinary 18th century art dominates. There are works by Domenico Pestrini, Donato Creti (a Visitation second chapel on right?); Guido Reni (the Apparition of the Madonna and Child to Saint Dominic and the Mysteries of the Rosary (1597/98) in the last altar on the right), Giuseppe Maria Mazza in the chapel of Saint Anthony of Padua, Vittorio Bigari (frescoes) and Guercino (the Apparition of Christ to the Virgin in the sacristy). Stucco work by A. Borelli and G. Calegari and statues by Angelo Piò.


The Portico di San Luca
begins by Porta Saragozza
The church can be approached along this covered arcade of 666 arches which was built 1674-1793 to protect the Byzantine icon during its annual procession up the hill from the Duomo, which has taken place during Ascension week since 1433, when the ritual was invented by jurist Graziolo Accarisi, who was also probably responsible for the legend of the pilgrim Theocles. The icon had been long forgotten on the altar and, it is said, surrounded by mouse droppings, but the city was suffering from excessive rainfall and needed help. On its procession the sun came and and the reflection from the icon was dazzling. The sun stayed out and so the ritual was repeated.
The arches originally housed icons or chapels erected by patron families. Work began in 1674 with the building of the Bonaccorsi archway by G. G. Monti over Porta Saragozza. Monti also designed the  portico at the foot of the hill. Dotti, the architect of the church took over in the 1720s.
The walk is long and has a strong penitential element, even today!

Opening times
Mon. to Sat 7.00 – 6 00 November to February / 7.00 - 7 .00 March to October
Weekdays the Sanctuary is closed from 12.30 to 2.30
Sundays and Public Holidays: 7.00– 6.00 November to February /7.00 - 7 .00 March to October

 

 







A print of 1857 

San Martino
via Oberdan

History
Founded in 1217 by Carmelites. More building in the first half of the 14th century, with the brick vaulted ceiling added in 1457 and a new façade at the end of the 15th century which was itself gothicly reshaped in 1879.

In the lunette above the south door is a bas-relief of St Martin Giving half his robe to a Beggar (1531) by Francesco Manzini. The doorway also features bucranium (cow skulls).

Interior
Pretty darn gothic - a nave and two aisles with pointed brick arches and ribbed cross-vaults, against buff plaster. There are six bays each side of the nave, mostly shallow chapels but with three deep ones at the back, the fourth of these bays (the second on the right) being taken up by the side door.

The most interesting art is in the chapels down the left side. The first chapel, built in 1506, has a Raphaelesque Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints Roch, ?, ? and Sebastian by Francesco Francia, who also painted the small Dead Christ Supported by Angels in the pediment of the altarpiece. The grisaille altar- frontal of The Deposition is by Amico Aspertini. The iron fence made it hard to appreciate the 1437 fresco fragments of an Adoration of the Magi by Paolo Uccello on the right wall on my first visit, but the gate was open on my second visit, on a Saturday morning if that helps. They were discovered in 1980 in the sacristy, having been largely destroyed during rebuilding, and are more than a bit random. The statue of the Madonna and Child against the left wall is by Jacopo della Quercia and came here from Santa Maria del Carmine  in Florence.

The second chapel has a Saint Francis attributed to Guercino. The third has a Crucifixion with Three Saints panel by Bartolomeo Cesi. The fourth's altarpiece is a Saint Jerome 1591 by Ludovico Carracci, the fifth's an Assumption by Lorenzo Costa 1506. On the aisle wall next is a (gilt-framed) 14th century fresco of the Madonna and Child by Simone dei Crocifissi, Lippo di Dalmasio's uncle and probable teacher. The left wall ends with a mass of 14th century fresco fragments (see right) which the panel in the church says are by Vitale da Bologna. They show various standing figures, Abraham Welcomes the Blessed, apostles at the Last Supper, and the Damned.

The door at the end here leads to the baroque sacristy (see below) which is dominated by heavily-gilt white stucco and dark wooden cupboards, but has a small God the Father over the altarpiece by Guido Reni. and access to a sweet cloister.
The Sacristy is opened on Saturday mornings from 9.30 to 12.00 by volunteers from the Touring Club of Italy.



The chapel to the left of the sanctuary has a triptych of The Crucifixion and Saints Biagio and Christopher, with an Annunciation in oculi and a predella of Scenes from the Lives of Saints Biagio and Sebastian, dated 1469 (c.1480?) by an unknown Bolognese master. It was restored in 2002. The extravagantly-framed high altarpiece on the back wall of the square apse is The Virgin Enthroned with Six Saints is by Girolamo Siciolante da Sermoneta of 1548.

Coming back up the right side, the chapel to the right of the presbytery is a marble riot, and the altar against the wall to the right has a Madonna and Saints Lucy, Nicholas and Gregory the Great by Amico Aspertini showing the three girls receiving their dowries from Saint Nicholas of Bari, thereby being saved from being sold into prostitution by their father.

On the aisle wall between this and the 4th chapel is a fresco fragment of the head of Christ from a Crucifixion by Vitale da Bologna. Lippo di Dalmasio painted the framed Madonna and Child fresco fragment on the left wall of the fifth bay and frescoed Saints Anthony and Onofrius (in roundels) and Elias(full length) on the column between the 3rd and 4th bays.

The first right-hand chapel has an Adoration of the Magi by Girolamo da Carpi 1532.

Lost art
The final work of Michele di Matteo, a signed and dated polyptych of 1469, commissioned for the Ringhieri family altar here - six panels remain and are in the Pinacoteca. The Martyrdom of Saint Eugenia by Giovan Giacomo Sementi of c.1612/13 from the sacristy here.

The 14th century tomb of Carlo, Roberto and Riccardo da Saliceto, damaged in an earthquake in 1504, is in the Medieval Museum. As are some earlier figural corbels, from another tomb here, it is thought. Also the unusual and impressive Renaissance tomb of law lecturer Pietro Canonici by the Paduan sculptor  Antonio Minelli.

The church in art
The Gardens of the Convent of San Martino Maggiore (1861) (see right) by Luigi Bertelli


Opening times
Monday to Saturday 8.00am - 12.00pm and 4.00pm - 7.00pm
Sunday and holidays 9.00am -12.00pm and 4.00pm - 7.00pm.





 



San Michele in Bosco
Piazzale San Michele in Bosco


History
Tradition has a monastery built here as early as the 4th century. In 1364 Olivetans settled here. Following the destruction of the church in 1430, it was rebuilt 1517-1523, maybe to designs by Biagio Rossetti. Gaspare Nadi contributed to the work.
The complex was suppressed by Napoleon and later used as a barracks, a prison for those sentenced to life imprisonment and accommodation for the Papal legate and then for the King of Italy. The Rizzoli Orthopedic Institute was established here in 1880, and remains.

The church
Renaissance-style façade designed by Biagio Rossetti from Ferrara, with a Istrian stone doorway by Baldassarre Peruzzi  from Siena (1522)

Interior
An aisleless nave with four side chapels, of very varying depth - three shallow with gilding (one with some frescoing and two with panels) and one very deep with a trompe l'oeil ceiling of architecture and scene of ? A long raised presbytery with some high-on-the-wall uncovered fresco fragments (see below right). The dome and a half over the apse are also frescoed. The art is from the 16th and  17th centuries mostly. The highlight is the sacristy (see far below right) which has the best-preserved fresco work of Girolamo di Carpi of 1526.
The 17th century octagonal cloister designed by Pietro Fiorini has damaged frescoes from a cycle depicting Stories from the Lives of Saint Benedict, Cecilia and Valerian by Ludovico Carracci, Guido Reni, Lucio Massari and Alessandro Tiarini (a pupil of Reni's), mostly now lost.

Lost art in the Pinacoteca
Three panels by Jacopo di Paolo from c.1400/1410, showing The Crucifixion, Saints James, Michael, Peter and John the Baptist and The Annunciation.
A big Madonna and Child in Glory with Saints Michael, Peter and Benedict (1517/1522) by Innocenzo da Imola, from the high altar here. A detached fresco panel of Christ and the Pharisees (c.1553) by Pellegrino Tibaldi. Christ in the House of Martha and Mary and The Supper of Saint Gregory the Great, both by Giorgio Vasari from 1540 and from the refectory here.
The Madonna and Child with Five Saints of 1601 by Lavinia Fontana was painted for this church. It is said that Saint Barbara is a self-portrait, and she does resemble self-portraits of Lavinia.

An early 16th century illuminated gradual and antiphonary, on display in the Medieval Museum.

The famous view
In 2010 work on the park resulted in the removal of vegetation blocking the view from the belvedere, which had so impressed Stendhal in 1817.





Opening times
Daily 8.00 - 12.00 and 4.00 - 6.00

Part of the Genus Bononiae - Museums in the City cultural itinerary/walk.








 

San Nicolò degli Albari
via Oberdan

San Paolo in Monte
via dell'Osservanza


History
Completely rebuilt c.1680 by Nicola Barelli, with internal restoration work in the 19th century. Has an early work by Giuseppe Maria Crespi, a Temptation of Saint Anthony of c.1690.


Lost art
Maestro di San Nicolò degli Albari, Storie di Cristo e Santi, c.1320 in the Pinacoteca.

8.15-12.00, 3.00-9.00

Along the road from, and looking connected to, the Villa Aldini/Madonna del Monte

History

Also known as the Chiesa dell'Osservanza. Built by Observant Franciscans in 1403 and completely rebuilt in 1828 by Vincenzo Vannini in neoclassical style.

Paintings by G. Gatti, C. Cignani, E. Sirani, B. Burrini, Orazio di Jacopo (1445 c.); sculptures by F. Scandellari.

In the monastery there are works by F. Pedrini, A. Beccadelli; sculptures by G. Pignoni, A. G. Piò; in the sacristy paintings by O. Samacchini, G.F. Gessi, N. Bertuzzi, L. Crespi, A. Magnoni, in the refectory works by L. Tadolini, A. and L. Crespi, J. A. Calvi, G. and U. Gandolfi, G. Varotti, G. Pedretti. Also a small museum of ethnographic items collected by Franciscan missionaries.

temporarily closed

San Paolo Maggiore
via Carbonesi

History
Built for the Barnabites between 1606 and 1611 to designs by Ambrogio Mazenta, a Barnabite himself, the church was named Maggiore to distinguish it from two other churches called San Paolo in Bologna. The façade was added between 1634 and 1636 by Ercole Fichi who also made the terracotta statues of Filippo Neri and Carlo Borromeo. There are also marble statues of Saints Peter and Paul by Domenico Maria Mirandola.  The Barnabites were suppressed by Napoleon and the church became a parish church in 1819. Closed later, it was reconsecrated in 1878 and 1959 it was returned to the Barnabites
Interior
Three chapels, widely spaced, either side of a tall and aisleless nave, with a barrel-vaulted ceiling decorated with trompe l'oeil architectural frescoes by Antonio and Giuseppe Rolli (1695-1704) with scenes of Saint Paul at the Areopagus in Athens. Giuseppi having had to complete the work after his brother Antonio died after falling from a scaffold. The cupola, apse, sacristy and the two chapels in the transept were frescoed by Pietro Farina and Giuseppe Antonio Caccioli.

Mostly 17th century art by the Carracci and their followers. The vault frescoes of the Life of St John the Baptist in the first left chapel (of San Giovanni Battista) are by Ludovico Carracci. The altarpiece here of the Baptism of Christ is by Giacomo Cavedone, one of Ludovico's assistants. Guercino's Saint Gregory the Great and the Souls in Purgatory of 1647 is over the right transept altar (the Capella del Suffragio). Giuseppe Maria Crespi (also known as Lo Spagnolo) and Ludovico Carracci's Paradise with the Invisible Conception of the Virgin, with a trombone playing angel, is in the second chapel (del Paradiso) on the right.
There is a vigorous baroque sculpture group of The Martyrdom of Saint Paul is one of the many marble works by Alessandro Algardi  (1641-4) on the high altar. The altar's baldacchino is said to be based on designs by Borromini. There are seven hard-to-see panels around the apse choir over the dark carved stalls and a pair more on the side walls flanking the altar
Opening times
Monday to Saturday 8.30 - 11.30 and 4.30 - 6.30
Sunday and holidays 8.30 - 1.00 and 4.30 - 7.00
San Petronio

History
Many houses and churches were demolished to build San Petronio. It is not Bologna’s cathedral but has long been its civic religious heart. It was begun, when the first stone was laid, on June 7th 1390 to designs by Antonio di Vincenzo, a local builder-architect who oversaw the construction until his death in 1401. Work continued until 1663, when the nave vault was finally completed, but the church's apse was still not fully completed and it lacked a transept. The church is dedicated to Bologna's patron saint, Petronius, who was bishop of Bologna from 431–50 and was buried in Santo Stefano. Amongst the historical events held here are the coronation of Charles V on 24th February 1530, held here as politically neutral venue after the Sack of Rome, and sessions IX and X of the Council of Trent in 1547, moved here to avoid the plague in Trent. These events followed on from the 1506 ousting of the Bentivoglio family by Pope Julius II. He wanted to reclaim Bologna for the Papal States and found willing allies in the members of the other noble families of Bologna keen to reclaim the power and properties that the Bentivoglio had hoarded. Bologna thereby became second only to Rome as the most important city in the Papal States in the 16th century.

Façade
Only the lower part of the brick façade was ever finished, with Istrian stone and red Verona marble decoration begun in 1538.
The central doorway (the Porta Magna) has sculptures by Jacopo della Quercia, begun in 1425 and considered amongst his best work, although left unfinished on his death in 1438. The ten large bas-reliefs flanking the door tell the story of Genesis, with the smaller inner pilasters decorated with half-figures of prophets. The lintel has five reliefs of the childhood of Christ and in the lunette are statues of the Madonna and Child and Saint Petronius, who holds a model of the church, also by Jacopo. The Saint Ambrose on her other side was added in 1510.
The two flanking portals date from 1518–30, with bas-reliefs on the pilasters by Amico Aspertini, Nicolò Tribolo, Alfonso Lombardi and others. The lunette in the left one to is the Risen Christ with Soldiers by Lombardi. The Deposition in the lunette of the doorway on the right is by Amico Aspertini, flanked by the Virgin and St John the Evangelist.

Interior
The chapels have lights which take 20 cent pieces.
A characteristic Bolognese brick-vaulting-and-white-plaster nave, with circular windows at clerestory level and above the aisles' paired chapels. Because of the church's north/south orientation light floods in from the west windows. The nave is separated from the aisles by ten massive compound piers. The Gothic vaulting dates from 1648 and is the work of Girolamo Rainaldi, who adapted the 16th century designs of the local architect Francesco Morandi (Terribilia). The twenty-two side chapels are all closed by screens of marble, dating from the late 15th century, or of wrought iron. The pair of 12th/13th century crosses are what remains of the four supposedly used by St Petronius himself to protect and mark the limits of the city in the 4th century, and were moved here in 1798.

South (right) aisle
The second chapel has a gold-ground Madonna and Child with Saints polyptych by Tommaso Garelli  from 1477, and early 15th century frescoes on each side. In the third chapel is a shop selling plaster plaques behind whose board walls is, we are told, a frescoed polyptych by the school of the Vivarini.
The lovely stained glass (in restauro behind scaffolding when I visited in 2017 and 2018) in the fourth chapel was made by the Dominican friar Jacob Griesinger (known as Jacob of Ulm) in 1466. He died in Bologna and is buried in the church of San Domenico.
In the fifth chapel is a dark Pietà with Saints Mark, Augustine, John the Evangelist and Anthony Abbot of 1519 by Amico Aspertini and nice but worn frescoed wall decoration. In the sixth chapel (helpfully open) is Lorenzo Costa’s architecture-dominated Enthroned Saint Jerome of 1484.
In the eighth chapel are intarsia work stalls by the Olivetan monk Fra’ Raffaele da Brescia (1521) with nine panels each side of still lifes and architecture.
The ninth chapel has a statue of Saint Anthony of Padua over the altar and monochrome frescoes of the saint’s life, all by Girolamo da Treviso and dating from 1525. There are also large frescoed panels here, higher up on the side walls and trompe l'oeil ones in the vault. The design of the stained glass in here is attributed to Pellegrino Tibaldi. The very stout screen of iron bars is topped by busts of blindfolded figures.
The marble screen (c. 1460) of the tenth chapel is fine and the eleventh chapel has a very fine framed high relief on the left wall of the Assumption, by Nicolò Tribolo. The altar is piled with reliquaries with six shelves of them behind, forming the altarpiece, and also in cases left and right. On the right wall a tall Annunciation by D. Rizzi called il Brusasorci.
Opposite this chapel. below left of the organ, is a striking early 16th century polychrome terracotta Lamentation group by Vincenzo Onofri.

The presbytery has intaglio choir stalls by Agostino de' Marchi, working from 1467-79 and a tribune by Vignola 1548. The apse fresco is The Virgin with Saint Petronius by Franceschini from 1672.

Crossing the church to the apse-end of the
North (left) aisle
Either side of the door to the museum (which, in two small rooms, has façade drawings, models, vestments, reliquaries and choir books, including one with miniatures by Taddeo Crivelli) are two doors painted by Amico Aspertini in 1531 for the organ now in the sanctuary. They illustrate The Life of Saint Petronius and are not in the best condition.
The tenth and ninth chapels were in restauro in 2017 and 2018. One has a Saint Michael (1582) by Denys Calvaert. The winningly empty eighth chapel has a Mannerist painting of a prancing Saint Roch by Parmigianino (1527).
The seventh chapel has a particularly fine marble screen attributed to Pagno di Lapo, and a lovely altarpiece (see photo left) of the Madonna and Child with Saints Sebastian, John the Baptist?,? and George? signed by Lorenzo Costa (1492), one of his best. The Neoclassical funerary monument on the right (1845) is for Elisa Bonaparte, Napoleon I’s sister who became grand duchess of Tuscany, and her husband Felice Baciocchi, and is by Cincinnato Baruzzi.

The sixth chapel has a cutesy Assumption altarpiece by Scarsellino (c. 1600), who worked with the Carracci. And casts of Jacopo della Quercia's panels from around the main door - Old Testament scenes from the sides and the Life of Christ from the top. The strange and huge wooden pulpit in the aisle here was built in the 15th century.
The fifth chapel (roped off) preserves all its decoration intact from 1487–97. The lovely huge altarpiece of the Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian is by an unknown artist of the late 15th century. It is flanked by an Annunciatory Angel by Francesco Francia: the Annunciate Madonna is by Lorenzo Costa, who also painted the Twelve Apostles around the walls. The stalls and pavement in enameled tiles are by Pietro Andrea da Faenza.

The fourth north is the The Cappella Bolognini, one of the first chapels to be built. It has famous frescoes covering the three walls, dating from 1410–15  (and restored in 2013) which are the best, and best-known, work of Giovanni da Modena, whose work is unknown outside Bologna. The frescoes were commissioned by a silk merchant called Bartolomeo Bolognini, whose tomb is here, in the middle of the pavement. The chapel is dedicated to the Three Magi and on the right wall are eight scenes, some of them unusual. Reading top to bottom, right to left, they are 1 The start of the journey, 2 See the star, 3 Follow the star, 4 Meet Herod, 5 Herod with his councilors, 6 Leave Jerusalem, 7 Reach the stable, 8 Return home by sea.
On the opposite wall is a huge Last Judgement. The hell scene, inspired by Dante, is dominated by a fearsome dark devil (with no willy) consuming the damned from both ends. Sinners are all around and all is chaos, although the sinners are grouped by sin. Ranged in the brighter panel above the Saved, Saints and Virgins sit in diagonal pews below Christ crowning the Virgin, in a mandorla, whilst St Michael judges, in a triangle in the centre. On the altar wall are eight scenes of the Life and Miracles of Saint Petronius, reading top to bottom and left to right. The stained glass windows depict the Twelve Apostles (with Judas replaced by Saint Paul and the four bottom left figures not identified) and are to designs by Jacopo di Paolo, who was working in Bologna between 1378 and 1426. The gothic carved polychrome polyptych here is by an unknown artist named for this work the Master of San Petronio. It shows the Coronation of the Virgin with many saints, seventeen figures in all. The painted predella, also by Jacopo di Paolo, has eight scenes again showing The Magi's Journey to Bethlehem.


The second chapel contains the remains of Saint Petronius and features overwhelmingly Baroque decorative work by the Bolognese architect Alfonso Torreggiani (c. 1750) with a fine grille and the tomb of Benedict XIV. Giovanni da Modena probably also painted the Madonna in the vault here while he was at work in the first chapel, in which the framed allegorical frescoes oddly show the theological issues of Redemption and Sacrifice on the right and the Triumph of the Church over the Synagogue, to the left, in which the arms of the Cross have hands (see photo left).
Above the right door on the inner façade are Adam and Eve, attributed to the Ferrarese sculptor Alfonso Lombardi.


Lost art
The predella from the Cospi polyptych by Simone dei Crocefissi, from c.1396/98, showing Seven Scenes from the Life of the Virgin, is in the Pinacoteca.

Campanile

1492


Liberation Day, April 21st 1945 showing brick defensive works.



 




 

Massimiliano De Giovanni, Andrea Accardi -
Matteo e Enrico: a graphic novel



 

San Procolo
via D'Azeglio

History
A church was built here, dedicated to the martyred soldier Saint Proculus of Bologna, whose remains were brought here by Benedictine Monks from the Abbey of Monte Cassino by 1087. Major rebuilding of the church began at the end of the 14th century under one Bartolomeo Gillij,  a new façade being added in 1400. The Gothic tracery of the ceiling was added from 1383 to 1407. More rebuilding from 1535 to 1557, under Antonio Morandi (called Terribilia)
who added the fifth bay of the church, the choir and the bell tower. More interior work began in 1744 under architect Carlo Francesco Dotti, including more work on the choir, which was halted by the church and adjacent monastery's suppression in 1796, it having been still under Benedictine rule when it was closed. In 1883 there was restoration by the architect Modonesi in an attempt to return the church to its pre-baroque simplicity. The early gothic style brick façade was added during this work. 

The monastery
The Benedictine complex included a hostel for pilgrims. In 1297 a hospital for abandoned children, run by nuns of the order of Santa Maria degli Angioli or degl' Innocenti, was created. Antonio Morandi (Terribilia) designed the oldest of the three cloisters. Another was built in 1577, designed by Domenico Tibaldi, with a third started in 1622, designed by Giulio della Torre, and restored in 1734 by Luigi Casoli. At the same time a statue of Saint Proculus was erected by Angelo Pio in this courtyard. Suppressed in 1797. From 1860 until 2003 the convent housed the Maternity and Infancy Hospital.  In the early 19th century, the Ospizio degli Esposti was moved here.


Interior
Wide and plain - a nave and two aisles with thick cruciform pillars. There are four altars down the right side and four chapels on the left, all with spiky-topped ironwork fences.

The second altar on the right has a striking Ecstasy of Saint Benedict by Bartolommeo Cesi c.1590. In the wide and more decorated sanctuary and choir apse

The high altar (1744-1745) was designed Alfonso Torreggiani with a tabernacle by Giacomo Molinari, silver-work by Bonaventura Gambari, and statues by Toselli. Here is an embellished late-Roman sarcophagus of Saint Procolus with illuminated bones behind a window. The choir was designed by Giulio Dalla Torre and Carlo Francesco Dotti, with paintings by Giuseppe Pedretti depicting the Martyrdom of Saint Proculus. The engraved wooden choir stalls are by Andrea di Pietro Campana.

The chapels on the left side include a Saint Cyrus with the Madonna by the school of Carlo Cignani. In the chapel of the Holy Sacrament is a Last Supper by Ginevra Cantofoli. The fresco decoration here is by Onofrio Zanotti.
The first chapel on the left has, since the 13th century, housed the relics of Proculus and Pozzuoli. It was refurbished in 1750 by Alfonso Torreggiani and Antonio Cartolari. Quadratura by Michele Mastellari. The main altarpiece is by Francesco l'Anges (born 1675).
In the refectory is a canvas of The Miracle of the Fishes (1607) by Lionello Spada. Another canvas by Alessandro Tiarini (1639-40) a pupil of Fontana.

Bulgaro and Martino (jurists and pupils of Irnerius who helped found Bologna university), were buried in the square in front of the church, in tombs removed probably in the late 14th century.  Buried in the church were Bartolomeo Cesi, Alessandro Tiarini, Girolamo Pilotta, and Luigia Maria Rosa Alboni (painters); and Anna Morandi Manzolini (wax modeller); Nicolo Donati (architect); and Carlo Nessi (sculptor).


The mysterious inscription
A marble plaque on the façade of San Procolo has a Latin inscription which says If the bell of Procolo had been far from Procolo, Procolo would now be far from Procolo. A.D. 1393
One theory is that it refers to a bell ringer called Procolo who was crushed when a bell fell on him - if he had been far from the campanile of San Procolo he wouldn't now be in the cemetery here. Adding to the strangeness is the fact of a similar accident being told about the lost church of
San Procolo in Venice.

Opening times
Monday to Friday: 6.30am - 11.00am

Saturday and Sunday: 9.30am - 12.00pm












A cloister in the early 20th century









 

San Rocco

San Sigismondo
 via San Sigismondo

History
Built from 1506 against the city wall, to house an image of the Virgin which had been on the walls, just before the establishment of the Compagnia di Santa Maria della Pietà e di San Rocco. A portico was added by the end of the 16th century. The current church dates to enlargement in 1606, with a new porch and facade added in 1661. The oratory on the first floor was built in 1614 and decorated in 1626 with fresco panels by Lucio Massari, Giacomo Cavedoni, Francesco Gessi, Guercino, Paolo Carracci, brother of Ludovico, and Francesco Carracci, the nephew. They show the Saint's life in eleven scenes. The square panels in the illusionistic coffered ceiling, painted by Angelo Michele Colonna, Giovanni Gessi, Giacomo Cavedoni, Domenico Canuti, Lucio Massari and Luigi Valesio,  depict the Virtues, Bologna's patron saints, the doctors of the Church and the Evangelists. The company was suppressed on the 25th July 1798.

The church is now used by a Rumanian Orthodox congregation. (Monday-Friday 18.15 - 19.00 Saturday 17.00 - 19.00 Sunday 8.30 - 13.30.) The oratory is home to the Circolo della Musica and is used for concerts.

Opening times
By appointment
 

 
San Vittore
via San Vittore

Sant'Antonio Abate
via Massimo D'Azeglio

outskirts near san michele in bosco

History

Legend (and the poet Giosuè Carducci) claims that there has been a temple here since 441, but the Cenobio di San Vittore, named for Saint Victor the Moor, a 4th century martyr from Milan (whose cult was another of those avidly promoted by Saint Ambrose) was founded in the 11th century by the Canons Regular of the Lateran. Consecration followed in 1178, by the bishop of Bologna, Giovanni IV. Minimal rebuilding - some in the 15th century. Suppressed by Napoleon in 1789. Soon after restored to its original use, including use by the Fathers of the Oratory of San Filippo Neri from 1833, until 1997. Having fallen into neglect the church was renovated in 1999 with the help of Wojciech Przeklasa. Concerts in the cloister in the summer.

Romanesque
15th-century frescoes in the nave
 a carved wooden choir from 1421-26

cloister, also built in the 12th century was restored at the end of the 15th century

Sunday 9.30am - 11.30am (weekdays by appointment)

 

 


History
Built 1328 and rebuilt in 1615 to designs by Floriano Ambrosiani.

Art highlights
Crucifixion with the Women at the Bottom of the Cross from the early 1580s, by Prospero & Lavinia Fontana for the Jesuit church of Santa Lucia. Also from that church came Lorenzo Sabbatini's Virgin and Child with Saints Agatha and Lucy.


Paintings by Denis Calvert, Bartolomeo Ramenghi (called il Bagnacavallo for the village where he was born) (a student of Francia and Costa) and an altarpiece by Fabio Fabbi of 1902

Sant'Isiah
via Sant'Isaia



History
Legend has a church here in the 1st century, but it was first recorded in 1088. It was rebuilt in 1624 by Pietro Fiorini (work which included the portico on the street) and his son Sebastiano after his death, the work being completed in 1633. Enlarged in the early19th century by Luigi Marchesini, who reworked the façade, portico and interior, addsing two side aisles and the dome and a major chapel.  The church reopened on the 5th of July 1837.

Interior
A big church, six bays long with chunky rectangular pale pillars, with buff marble bases on streaky monochrome marble plinths - a not unusual combination in Bologna. All very tasteful with just a little, and dull, gilding. A pair of front-facing chapels terminate the aisles. A dome with blue coffers over the crossing, with a matching semidome in the apse. 18th century art in some chapels but they mostly contain more modern sculpture. A nice soft baroque Annunciation panel in the second chapel on the right. Good stained glass scenes in lunettes over the entrance and either side of the apse, the latter two of The Pieta and The Last Supper.

19th-century statues by A. Bertelli and paintings by O. Samacchini, B. Gennari, F. Pedrini, G. Varotti, MA Franceschini, A. Guardassoni. In the sacristy there is a fresco by Lippo di Dalmasio from the late 14th century and a terracotta Pietà by AG Piò (1730 c.).






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