Stone heritage: Romanesque architecture in Modena

  • Piazza Grande, Modena pic of Davidtsousa
  • Abbey of Nonantola
  • Cathedral interior, detail

Modena is a model for the European Romanesque style

Modena revolves around its Duomo, Torre Ghirlandina and Piazza Grande, that were all included in the prestigious list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Since 1099, the marble profile of the Duomo, that was commissioned by the local authorities, has commanded the tomb of the Bishop of San Geminiano, the city’s patron saint. The enchanting architectural elements by Lanfranco and sculptures by Wiligelmo contributed to make it a perfect combination of ancient culture and new "Lombard" art, and turned it into a model for the European Romanesque style. 

The reliefs by Wiligelmo and his pupils give visitors the possibility to gain precious insights into the medieval universe, since they depict both biblical episodes, monsters, mysterious creatures, Aesop's Fables and even King Arthur and his knights. Few other places in the world possess the outstanding beauty of its naves, that are illuminated by the enchanting rose window realized by the masters from Campione. Situated a short distance from Modena, the Abbey of San Silvestro in Nonantola, that was founded in 752 by the Lombard Duke Saint Anselm, played a fundamental role in Europe during the year 1000, as evidenced by the treasures of its museum and the parchments of the largest medieval archives in the world.


AC Staff
AC Staff

The texts are taken from the guide Art Cities in Emilia Romagna


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