Basilica of St Petronio

Bologna - Piazza Maggiore, 1

Basilica of St Petronio


In the Basilica di San Petronio the admittance with backpacks is not allowed and a storage service is not provided.


Always open
every day 7.45 -1.15 pm and 3.00 -6.30 pm.


Telephone: +39 051 239660
INFOLINE: +39 051 203040

The Basilica of St Petronio, honoring the patron saint (eighth bishop of Bologna from 431 to 450), is the most imposing (a length of 132m, a width of 66m, a height of 47m) and the most important church in Bologna. In the recent years the Basilica, considered the local power symbol in contrast with the Vatican power featured by St Peter's Cathedral, have always been administrated as a town setting up. Building started in 1390 under the supervision of the architect Antonio di Vincenzo and the church's original design was created to celebrate the reconquest of the town. In 1514, Arduino degli Arriguzzi proposes a new model with a Latin-cross aimed to overtop St Peter's Church in Rome. According to the legend, Pio IV stopped the costruction of this megalomaniac dream and requested to build up the Archiginnasio. Even the facade was left incomplete; the central nave covering and the apses shooting, designed by Girolamo Rainaldi and directed by Francesco Martini, were completed only in 1663; the lower naves were closed by rectilinear walls.
Built in 1470 by Lorenzo da Prato and symbolized by the most prestigious and older functional organ in the world, the bolognese musical Chapel was once very famous. Another organ, more recent (1596), belongs to Baldassarre Malamini and despite its 400 years it is still functional as well.
In 1894, Museo di San Petronio opened with the projet of T. Azzolini.
There are then four crosses of stone between the chapels 1-2, 9-10, 13-14, 21-22 that, according to the legend, St Petronio placed at the perimeter's angles of the town then, in the next centuries, the circle of the selenite walls have been defined.

Facade - In 1538, Giacomo Ranuzzi started the marble facing, designed by Domenico da Varignana, but left it incomplete. The finished part has been decorated by works of the sculptors Jacopo della Quercia, Amico Aspertini and Alfonso Lombardi.

The facade of the Basilica is now under reconstruction and cleaning. It is covered by a big panel with a photo representing the front part of the church. The aim of renovations is restoring to the bricks the original red colour. According to estimations, the facade will be uncovered in 2013 in occasion of the 350th anniversary of the end of its construction.

Fonte: redazione locale Bologna

Foto: Archivio Apt - Comune di Bologna

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