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The Veneto: Padua and Verona

Padua

This is a Work In Progress

Where next after Venice (and Florence)? Trips to Padua and Verona
 (which both came under Venetian rule in 1405) suggested that they were more than worthy, and that with works by Bellini, Titian and the Tintorettos in evidence there's going to be plenty of connections, I thought. Well, it didn't quite turn out that way. Padua and Venice are more connected by history than art - the Republic wrested the place from the Carrara and ran things with a light hand for almost 400 years. But early Titian frescoes, a couple of Tiepolos and odd altarpieces by the likes of Palma Giovane and Bonifacio de 'Pitati are about the size of the art incursions. Giusto and Altichiero are the locals who come closest to emulating Giotto. The lesser known and later locals do not provide the surprises and joys of the likes of the Brusasorci, Badile and Morone, for example, in Verona. But fans of fresco are guaranteed satisfaction in a variety of venues. None of the churches charge entry, but the Duomo baptistery and some scuole and oratorios charge a few euros, with a few now run by an organisation of volunteers called Legambiente.

 


 


 

Beato Antonio Pellegrino
Duomo Santa Maria Assunta
Eremitani
Immacolata
Ognissanti
San Benedetto Vecchio
San Benedetto Novello
San Bonaventura delle Eremite
San Canziano
San Clemente
San Daniele
San Francesco Grande
San Gaetano
San Giovanni di Verdara
San Luca Evangelista
San Michele Oratory
San Nicol˛
San Pietro Apostolo
San Tomaso Becket
Sant'Agnese
Sant'Andrea

on page 2
Sant'Antonio The Santo
Santa Caterina
Santa Croce
Santa Giustina
Santa Lucia
Santa Margharita
Santa Maria dei Servi
Santa Maria del Carmine I Carmini
Santa Maria del Torresino Santa Maria del Pianto
Santa Maria della CaritÓ The Scrovegni Chapel
Santa Maria in Vanzo
Santa Maria Vergine
Santa Sofia
Santi Firmo e Rustico
Santi Massimo e Osvaldo

 

Duomo
 Santa Maria Assunta


History
The first church on this site, traditionally said to date from the 7th Century, was destroyed by fire during the Hungarian invasion of 899 and rebuilt and consecrated in 1075 by Bishop Ulderico. This church was badly damaged by the earthquake on the 3rd of January 1117 and rebuilt in Romanesque style, in the 1120s, this church can be seen in Giusto de' Menabuoi's frescoes in the Baptistery. Another church was built by Bishop Stephen da Carrara in 1400, the previous one having fallen down. This one must also have been poorly constructed because plans were made for a new church in 1524. This, the current cathedral, was designed by Andrea della Valle and Agostino Righetto, reflecting the design of earlier Paduan churches. Work began in 1547, but was only completed in 1754, with the fašade remaining unfinished. Paduans are said to have once boasted that the plans for this church supplied by Sansovino were rejected in favour of those commissioned from Michelengelo, but that these plans were also ignored is evident from the church's eventual form.




Interior
The key word is huge - the aisles, with their immense chunky pillars, supporting oversized capitals, which separate them from the nave which has two cupolas over it, the side chapels, which are so deep they might be extra transepts, except that the actual transepts are even bigger with enormous altars at each end. Another word is 'dull'.

Paintings by Stefano dell'Azare, Tiepolo, Paris Bordone and a Byzantine style Virgin and Child. Also (still?) a Madonna previously wrongly ascribed to Giotto, but it was as a Giotto that Petrarch bequeathed it to his friend Francesco Carrara.
 

The Baptistery
Romanesque brick of  around 1260. Interior frescoed by the Florentine Giusto de' Menabuoi in the late 1370s. Commissioned by Fina Buzzaccarini, the wife of Francesco il Vecchio da Carrara, the Carrara family having been Giusto's best patrons. Fina got Giusto to paint her and her three daughters as onlookers to the birth of John the Baptist. Husband and wife were buried here, in 1393 and 1378 respectively, and the frescoes were finished by 1393. Christ Pantocrator is in the centre (see right) and in the drum there are scenes from the Old Testament, beginning with The Creation. The pendentives have seated figures of The Evangelists and the walls below scenes from the Life of John the Baptist and the Life and Passion of Christ. Over the entrance to the sanctuary is a Crucifix, in the cupola is a Pentacost with scenes from the Apocalypse on the walls. The altarpiece of The Virgin and Child and Saints with Scenes from the Life of Saint John the Baptist is also the work of Giusto.

The exterior was covered in frescos too, but these have long since been washed away. The interior was 'cruelly' repainted by Luca Brida in the 18th Century but that work was reversed and recent cleaning has left the frescoes looking fine.

(Nearby Museo Diocesano in the Palazzo Vescovile (the Bishop's palace), the museum of the Padua See of the Catholic Church preserves precious works of art and the fascinating Chapel of S. Maria degli Angeli.)
 

 
































































 

Beato Antonio Pellegrino
Oratory Church of St. Anne

   


History
The church and convent were built by Benedictine nuns from Santa Maria di Porciglia whose previous home had been destroyed by war in 1509 . They brought with them the remains of beato Antonio Manzoni called "Pellegrino". The complex was built to the designs of Vincenzo Dotto. Following the Napoleonic suppressions and the expulsion of the Benedictines the complex was used as a barracks and in 1838 made into a hospice, undergoing major restoration in 1943 in a neo-Romanesque style. The church is still part of the Shelter Home for the Elderly (IRA) and is now officiated by the Romanian catholic community.

On the night of 24th/25th of  October 1993 the church was robbed of several works of art. One of which, Christ at the Column, attributed to Palma Giovane, was recovered in June 2014.




 



Eremitani


History
Built from 1264 to 1276 and, like the previous church on the site, built by Augustinian monks and dedicated to the saints Philip and James. The church is known as degli Eremitani after their adjoining monastery, which now houses the municipal art gallery and the Scrovegni chapel ticket office. 

The fašade was added in 1360, with the church consecrated in 1435. The loggia is later. The side entrance is known as the Door of the Months as it has four panels attached to its pillars by sculptor Nicol˛ Baroncelli depicting allegories of the months.

Interior
Coming through the door in the fašade the church presents huge rectangular vista free of columns and with banded red, white a yellow brick walls. The ribbed ceiling of 1306 is by Fra Giovanni degli Ermitani, using timbers from the the old wooden ceiling left over after the construction of his new ceiling of the Palazzo della Ragione, given to him by a grateful city. A guidebook of the late 19th Century (by Augustus J. C. Hare) reports the the ceiling was at that time painted blue and white, spoiling 'what would otherwise be a striking and beautiful building'.

The church houses the matching and protruding Gothic tombs of Jacopo II da Carrara (near the beginning of the left wall) (see photo right) and (at the beginning of the right hand wall) Ubertino da Carrara, both from the 14th Century dynasty of rulers of Padua, and both the work by Andriolo de Santi. Under Jacopo's sarcophagus is inscribed the sixteen verses in Latin written to his friend by Petrarch. The tombs were originally in Sant'Agostino, a church which was demolished in 1819. Further along the left wall are two renaissance altarpieces with no altars, from the same demolished church. Also on this wall is the sandy-coloured monument of 1546 to Marco Mantova Benavides, a renowned 16th Century humanist, jurist and collector of art and antiquities, which has recently been restored. It is by Bartolomeo Ammanati.

Along the right hand side are four small chapels, the first one is dedicated to St Augustine and was redecorated in the 17th Century but still contains traces of frescos by Giusto de'Menabuoi from around 1370. The second is dedicated to St Anthony and features frescoes by Guariento, a Paduan, as does the forth, with  the Head of Christ on the underside of the arch, all that remains of a Flagellation by him; and a Madonna and Child Enthroned over the altar by Altichiero.

The chapel of SS. James and Christopher (Ovetari Chapel), containing early frescoes by Mantegna, was mostly destroyed by American bombing on 11th March 1944. The church having been next to a German headquarters. The original contract, signed by Mantagna's brother because he was only 17 and hence underage, also included Antonio Vivarini and Giovanni d'Alemagna from Venice and Paduan Nicol˛ Pizolo. But after the death of d'Alemagna Vivarini quit two years later, by which time only the vault frescos had been completed.  Two further painters were emplyed, Ansuino da Forli and Bono da Ferrara, but following the death of Pizolo, from wounds sustained during a quarrel, they quit too. But Bona da Ferrara, a pupil of Pisanello, did paint a fresco of Saint Christopher for the Ovetari Chapel in 1451, but it too was destroyed in 1944. A black and white photo (see far right) is all that remains. So Mantegna ended up painting most of the chapel, between 1448 and 1452.  His frescoes have been reconstructed and the photograph (right) of the right-hand wall of the chapel, depicting The Life of St Christopher, shows the painted restored sections and the monochrome areas taken from old photographs. The two panels at the bottom survived through having been removed decades before the bombing to protect them from damp. Between the Ovetari chapel and the apse is the Dotto chapel, which was decorated by Altichiero (or at least his school) but was destroyed in 1944.

The Giottesque frescoes on the left wall of the apse are by Guariento, and show The Life of Saint Augustine, with those on the right wall and vault having also been destroyed in the bombing. The destroyed frescoes have been replaced with the same artist's Coronation of the Virgin and Portraits of Ubertino and Jacopo da Carrara, three frescoes which were over the latter's tombs (now in this church by the entrance) when they were in the church of Sant'Agostino. The cross over the high altar is by Guariento also. The chapel to the left of the apse is the Sanguinacci chapel decorated on the right wall by Giusto de'Manabuoi in 1373 with a Virgin and Child, Saints and Donor.

Short story
On Christmas Eve 1585 the body of Vittoria Accorambuoni, the beautiful niece of Pope Sixtus V, lay in state here, with the body of Flaminio, her younger brother. They had been murdered the day before by Prince Luigi Orsini. An angry mob of Paduans later besieged the Prince's palace and, having forced him to surrender, strangled him in prison. 


Opening times
Summer - Mon-Sat 8.15-6.45
Sun and Bank Hols 10.00-1.00, 4.00-7.00
Winter - Mon-Sat 8.15-6.15
Sun and Bank Hols 10.00-1.00 , 4.15.-7.00










 

 


The apse and the Ovetari Chapel - 
an illustration from a guidebook of 1910



A photo from the 1950s/60s





















































































 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




 

Immacolata



History
The Church of St Mary Immaculate was designed by A. Tosini in 1853, being built over the site of an earlier church called Santa Maria Iconia. The first documented mention of this earlier church dates to 1165.
It became a Templar church and with the order's suppression, a parish for a little while, until 1312 when the Knights of Malta acquired it until 1807, when it was bought by one Luigi Gaudio who converted for 'other uses'. It was demolished by 1834 .The unusual naming of the Virgin Iconia seems to derive from the word cuneus, narrow plot of land by two rivers.

Interior

Contains much art from other churches, mostly the nearby Ognissanti, including the Virgin of the Boatmen, a 15th Century wooden statue, and works by painter Gaspare Diziani -  Job mocked by his wife , The Killing of Agar , The Expulsion of Eliodoro , Gideon's Miracle , and The Robe of St. Joseph shown to Jacob, Agar and Samuel. Also two paintings by Francesco Maffei (Saint John in Patmos and a Crucifixion from Ognissanti),an  Assumption by Santo Peranda, and an alterpice depicting the Madonna and Saints Mauro and Agnes by Bonifacio de 'Pitati.

Lost art
The earlier church had an Assumption with Apostles by Palma Giovane over the high altar, a Baptism of Christ by Veronese (from San Giovanni alle Navi) over the right hand one, and a Deposition by Pietro Damini on the left.






 

Ognissanti

   



History
A church built over a necropolis with an earliest documented date of 9th March 1147 and a Benedictine Monastery recorded here from 1173. That complex had become seriously dilapidated by the 15th Century, but it wasn't until the years 1657-66 that the church was rebuilt to an aisleless Latin cross plan.

Interior
Contains three altarpieces from the 17th and 18th Century (although they may be the works moved to the Immacolata church mentioned above) and some early frescoes, notably a fragment depicting Christ to the right of the high altar and a Byzantine-style lunette.

Opening times
Just for services, it seems.
 

























 

San Benedetto Vecchio


History
Built in 1195 by Giordano ForzatÚ for White Benedictines (so called because of their light-coloured cowls). It initially housed men and women but arguments over the management of finances led to the bishop splitting them up in 1259, with the nuns remaining here and the monks moving to San Benedetto Novello, completed in 1262. The convent flourished. Between 1356 and 1397 the abbess was Anna Buzzaccarini, sister of Fina Buzzaccarini, the Paduan Prince Francesco il Vecchio's wife, and she embellished the convent much, at least once (the chapel of S.Lodovico) with endowments from her sister. Later Caterina Cornaro was educated here, until the age of fourteen. Much work from 1612, including a realignment and a new fašade, at the behest of abbess Aurora da Camposampiero, probably as a result of the reforms of the Council of Trent. The old Romanesque fašade can still be seen at the west end.

The convent was suppressed by Napoleon in 1810 and converted into a military barracks, the church being given to the parish. Early 20th century restorations, but bombing on 11th March 1944 caused much damage and destroyed many works of art, including the Apocalypse cycle by Giusto de'Menabuoi. Post-war restoration back to Romanesque style.

Giustiniana Wynne is buried here. She being the Venetian-born daughter of an English duke and a writer, famous for her friendships with Casanova and (more scandalously) Andrea Memmo. Her life and affair with the latter being the subject of Andrea Di Robilant's book A Venetian Affair.

Exterior
The 18th century fašade has two bas reliefs of St Benedict, with statues of the patron saints of Padua along the top.

Interior
Big, boxy and dark - there are small clerestory windows on the left only - with plain brick walls and stout pillars dividing the nave from the two aisles. Pitched timber roof. Huge well-populated baroque altar at the end of the choir, which is just a continuation of the nave.

In the centre of right hand wall is an altar containing the remains of Giordano ForzatÚ with an altarpiece celebrating him by Alessandro Varotari. A putto in this painting carries a model of the church before the new fašade of the 17th Century.

The door in the back wall leads to a chapel frescoed in the 18th Century which has a painting of Christ Among the Saints by Domenico Tintoretto, the son. Works by Maganza, Minorello, Balestra, Zanchi and Damini. Various frescos by the door, including a 13th Century Romanesque one of The Deposition.

Famous legend
The stick which
Giordano ForzatÚ used to mark out the boundaries of the monastery is said to have miraculously grown into a tree when planted in what became the cloister adjoining the right aisle  of the church. It's fruit was said to cure fevers and it supposedly reacted badly to deaths amongst the nuns and descendents of the founder. After the suppression of the monastery the tree was transplanted to the garden of the Palazzo Capodilista where it still thrives, we are told.

 






After the bombing of March 11th 1944
 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

San Benedetto Novello

 

San Bonaventura delle Eremite



 


History
Monastery built by monks moving from San Benedetto Vecchio in 1262 (see San Benedetto Vecchio entry above).
Consecrated on March 6th 1267. Went into decline in the 15th century. In 1441 Pope Eugene IV gave it to another order, who improved it and in 1442 sold it to the Olivetans who rebuilt the cloisters in 1504 and the church in 1567, to designs by Francesco da Trevigi. The Olivetans thrived, until they were expelled by the Venetian republic in 1797. Suppressed in 1810. Nuns moved back in in the late 19th Century, with the church being restored and rededicated in 1894.
 


History
Part of a complex built in the late 17th century. The order of the Virgin Franciscan Hermits in Padua was founded on August 10th 1612 by Sister Graziosa Zechini  and was first located in Pontecorvo in three houses donated by Lucia Noventa, a wealthy widow, a certain. In 1615 the  first chapel was built there. Noise and harassment, due to their proximity to two taverns, resulted in the order moving here, onto land provided by the patrician Malipiero family, purchased on February 26th 1680 with the approval of the bishop Gregorio Barbarigo. The community moved here on 11th May 1682 , with the church completed later, the first mass being sung on the 19th of March 1688. The complex survived the Napoleonic and Savoy suppressions in quiet seclusion, with electricity not installed until 1985.

The church
Baroque facade with four Doric pilasters supporting a pediment unusually containing, we are told, a thermal window. Over the door is a niche containing a statue of St. Bonaventure with the inscription SAN BONAVENTURA / AN. DO. MDCXCIII / ANTONIO ZANINI DETTO MANGRANDA / FECIT DI ANNI XVIII

The campanile is odd in having a belfry contained four high arches.

Interior
The seventeenth-century interior is characterized by vertical momentum, we are told. Over the high altar is St. Francis, St. Anthony, St. Bonaventure and St. Peter of Alcantara by Gaspare Diziani . On the side altars, to the right a Holy Family with Saints Zachary and Elizabeth by Pietro Damini, to the left an Immacolata by the circle of Francesco Zanella.

Opening times
Online sources say hardly ever. A sign on the door says 3.30-6.00 every day, but it wasn't open when I passed one evening in May 2016.
 

San Canziano



History
Named for Santi Canzio, Canziano and Canzianilla, the martyrs of Aquileia, this church was already standing in 1034 as part of the monastery of Santo Stefano. Damaged by earthquake in 1117 and fire in 1174. This original church with three naves and an apse oriented to the east was rebuilt between 1595 and 1617, thanks to the legacy of Don Cesare Mantova, parish priest for 27 years. The completion of this work saw the presbytery now on the south side and the construction of a new facade overlooking Piazza delle Erbe. The church was finally consecrated on October 24th 1757 by Bishop Alessandro Papafava. Restoration in 1955.

The church
Down the right side details and the rose window of the original facade are visible. The current facade, once attributed to Palladio is now thought to be the work of Vincenzo Dotto and Giambattista della Sala, The niches between the two pairs of Corinthian semi-columns have statues of Purity and Humility by Antonio Bonazza.  Above are two 18th century bas-reliefs depicting the trial and martyrdom of the church's name saints. On the attic level are statues of the four Evangelists by Pietro Danieletti . In the middle of the fašade is a weather-damaged fresco of the Immaculate Conception by Guy Louis Vernansal.

Interior
A nave with a pair of aisles, or arguably an aisleless space with two central side chapels each flanked by tapering functional spaces. Contains works from the 17th Century: terracotta statues of saints flanking the altar in pairs of niches, by Andrea Briosco, called il Riccio. Unstriking paintings include The Procession of Carlo Borromeo by Giovanni Battista Bissoni and Pietro Damini's The Miracle of Saint Anthony and the Miser's Heart, in which the surgeon is a portrait of anatomist and surgeon Girolamo Fabrici d'Acquapendente. The high altarpiece is a Virgin and Saints attributed to Padovanino. These are all mostly not well lit. Under the left hand altar, now dedicated to Saint Rita, is a polychrome terracotta statue of the Dead Christ by Andrea Briosco.
 

San Clemente  

San Daniele


History
Dates back to the end of the 12th Century - a document of 1190 mentions its elevation to a parish church. Underwent much rebuilding in the 16th C, when the piazza outside was reorganised, and in the 17th and 18th. The burial place of Tiziano Minio, a famous Paduan sculptor.

Fašade
Statues of Saints Giles and John the Baptist from 1696 in the niches, Daniel, Clement and Justina on the tympanum.

Interior
A single nave with a small square apse. Works of 17th and 18th Century by Giovanni Battista Bissoni, Pietro Damiani (Jesus giving the keys to St Peter) Giulio Cirello and Luca Ferrari. The high altar (1782) has an altarpiece of Pope Clement I (St Clement) surrounded by angels by Luca Ferrari. The Altar of St Anthony erected by the Guild of Grocers (The Fratelea Casolinorum) has a bas relief of St John the Baptist holding the tools of their trade.

Dark and worn fresco of The Madonna and Child near the entrance attributed to Jacopo Bellini.

Opening times
9.00-1200, 4.00-6.00 supposedly, but I've never found it open.
 


History
Originally built in 1076 when the body of Saint Daniel, the early Christian martyr and one of Padua's patron saints, was translated from Santa Giustina to the Cathedral. Not much of this original chapel remains as it was almost completely rebuilt in the 18th and 19th Centuries.

Fašade
The fašade is by Agostini Rinaldi with statues of Saint Daniel and Saint Justina, by Francesco Rizzi, in the niches.

Interior
Hall-like with an organ loft over the entrance. The ceiling has 19th Century Scenes From the Life of St Daniel by Sebastiano Santi.
 

 

 

San Francesco Grande


History
Rebuilt by Baldo Bonafario and his wife Sibilla de Catto, along with a convent hospital for the Franciscans. Work began in 1414 led by builder Nicholas Gobbo. In 1417 the church was built and work continued until mid-century. After the death of Bonafario the work was completed by his wife. This church was a single nave with chapels on the left and was consecrated on October 24th 1430. Due to the growing popularity of the Observant Friars Minori the church and monastery were enlarged at the beginning of the 16th Century, under the direction of architect Lorenzo Pardi da Bologna. The chapels on the right were built and and the transept enlarged. The monastery was enlarged too, with a second cloister added. Frescoes in the style of Squarcione on the fašade and in the cloisters have long faded.

Baldo and his wife Sibilla were buried here, in 1818, as were Ferdinando Carlo Gonzaga-Nevers, the last Duke of Mantua, and the painter Francesco Squarcione.

Suppressed in April 1810, becoming a parish church in the same year. In 1862 the floor was re-laid at the expense of many old tombstones. Total restoration in 1873. In 1914 the Franciscans returned to the church and part of the old convent.

Interior
Four side chapels each side with wide aisles, the transept not much deeper than the chapels but the right hand chapels are deeper and the right hand transept arm is marble-fenced off to enclose a  red and white marble baroque extravagance by Giuseppe Sardi. A long choir with an arch-shaped
fresco of The  Annunciation over the arch (see right). The second chapel on the right is impressively frescoed inside (see below right), and into the vault and over the arches of the aisle space in front, in 1523 by Girolamo dal Santo.

An Ascension by Paolo Veronese originally to be found in the marble frame in the left transept chapel is now on the entrance wall high over the door (see right). The lower part was added in 1625 by Petro Datiani after this part of the original was chopped off and stolen.

Update May 2016 The church was covered in scaffolding at ground level - something about having its lunettes restored - but it was open.














The Scuola della CaritÓ
Opposite San Francesco Grande, founded in 1414 for a lay confraternity, also using bequests from Baldo Bonafario  and his wife Sibilla. Houses a cycle of 12 fresco panels of episodes from the life of the Virgin made by Dario Varotari in 1579. It's an unusual sequence in that it avoids the usual scenes involving the life of Jesus. Below is the rarely-seen Death of Joseph.



Opened by volunteers from Salvalarte, who don't have a website but are a branch of Legambiente.

Scuola Opening times
Thu & Sat 10.00-12.00
Thu-Sat  4.00-6.00*
(*May-October 4.30-6.30)
 




















 

San Gaetano


History
Also known as Santi Simone e Giuda this church was built from 1582 to 1586 by Vincenzo Scamozzi for the Theatines, an order founded by Saint Gaetan of Thiene, on the site of an old church called Saint Francesco Piccolo run by the Umiliati from whom the convent complex had passed when their order was suppressed by the Pope in 1571. Between 1578 and 1581 the Theatines had bought up more property, with the help of Bishop Federico Cornaro and with money from Alvise Cornaro. But the expansion work from 1629 failed to respect Scamozzi's plans, and baroque enrichments carried out at the behest of provost Raffaele Savonarola between 1692 and 1730 did not find universal approval. This work involved marble enrichments, three new altars and mannerist paintings. Suppressed by Napoleon in 1810, part of the monastery became the Palace of Justice in 1844 and the church became a parish church. Restoration in the 19th Century. A fire which almost destroyed the monastery in 1929 left the church undamaged. The monastery is now a museum.

Interior
This was the first centrally-planned church built in Padua. Inside it's aisleless tall and octagonal (or maybe square with the corners chopped off) and decorated with the marble panels and stucco typical of the 18th Century. Sharp left as you enter, and down some stairs, is the unserene Chapel of the Holy Sepulchre. The small Presbytery and separate choir beyond are all marble and stucco too, but the large sacristy is much plainer and more solemn.

Art highlights
The dome has sixteen radiating trompe l'oeil fresco panels of Paradise by Parisian painter Guy-Louis Vernansal. Paintings include an oddly bright Deposition/Mourning by Varotari. A subtly mobile statue of the Madonna and Child is a survival from the Umiliati church by Andrea Briosco (1470-1534) (see right). Two side chapels the right-hand one has The Transfiguration by Pietro Damini, The Presentation at the Temple of 1610 by Palma Giovane, is in the left-hand one.

There's
San Carlo Borromeo Saving a Child by Pietro Damini and works by Jacopo Bassano, Alessandro Maganza and GB Bissoni. There's an altarpiece by Vernansal too, depicting The Flagellation, in the Chapel of the Holy Sepulchre.

Opening times
9.00-12.00, 4.00-6.00






 



 

San Giovanni di Verdara


History
The church of a monastery built in the early13th C by Benedictine monks, in an area know for the lushness of  its vegetation, hence the name. In 1431 Pope Eugene IV gave the complex to his nephew Cardinal Antonio Correr , bishop of Ostia, who entrusted it in 1436 to a community of Lateran Canons who undertook a campaign of restoration and enlargement, entrusting the work to Lorenzo da Bologna and Giuliano da Porlezza. From the 15th to the 17th C the canons collected art and books, amassing a library that attracted the likes of Pietro Bembo. The collection of Marco Mantova Benavides, a renowned 16th Century humanist, jurist and collector who is buried in the Ermitani, came here in 1711. In 1783 the Venetian Republic abolished the order of the Lateran Canons. The art went to the civic museum and the books to the Marciana Library. The church remained in use with the monastery serving as an orphanage, an Austrian barracks in 1847. The church was last used by Jesuits in 1866, and the complex is now a military hospital., the church remaining as a sad neglected and inaccessible wreck.

People buried in the church: sculptor Andrea Briosco , humanist and writer Lazarus Bonamico , Calfurnio Giovanni , medallist Giovanni da Cavino, painter Luca Ferrari, and Domenico Senno.

Exterior
Has a largely 14th/15th Century Gothic facade with a large rose window and later embellishments. On the arch above the main door was a fresco by Giacomo Ceruti of the Virgin with Saints  Joseph and  John, while to the left was the tomb of Andrea Brioscobearing the artist's effigy, dispersed after 1797. To the south are a pair of large cloisters.

Interior
A nave and two aisles. On the altar of St. Patrick, the first on the left, was Giambattista Tiepolo's Miracle of Saint Patrick now at the civic art gallery. There they call it St. Paulinus of Aquileia, and there is controversy over whether it depicts the Bishop of Ireland or the more local, if obscure, saint. The Lateran Canon's particular devotion to St Patrick is cited.

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

San Luca Evangelista


History
A church dedicated to the Twelve Apostles was built in 1174, replacing an older building which had been demolished to make way for the city walls. This building was itself demolished by order of James I of Carrara in 1320, after which construction of the current church began, consecrated on the 18th of October 1381. 17th and 18th century rebuilding altered the original east-west orientation. Suppressed in 1807 by Napoleon, on July 2nd 1815 the church was reopened as part of the new parish of Santa Maria dei Servi. It is currently used by the Greek-catholic community.

The church was the seat of the Confraternita dei Pittori. On May 6th 1655 Bartolomeo Cristofori was baptized here, he being the inventor of the piano.

The church
The building is now oriented north-south, but you can still read the original east-west orientation of the external walls. The simple baroque facade, with two Ionic pilasters on each side, overlooks a fenced area which used to be a cemetery. The facade is topped with statues of the Virgin (at the top) St. Anthony (left) and St. Francis (right). On the wall are two plaques: one commemorates  the reopening of the church in 1815, the other the baptism here of Bartolomeo Cristofori .

Interior
A Greek cross, the only one so shaped remaining in Padua. The side chapels were added in 1834. To the left, there was a painting of Sant'Espedito Martyr, which was stolen in 1997 and now replaced by a photo.

Over the baroque 18th century altar in the chapel on the left is a 14th century fresco of The Madonna and Child, rediscovered during rebuilding in 1778 and restored by Francesco Zanon, and again restored in 1998, previously described as "in the manner of Giotto" and now attributed to Giusto de 'Menabuoi. Worryingly it is reported that the figures were crowned with silver tiaras donated in 1995.

Further along on the left is a Pieta attributed to Bartolomeo Montagna. In the north transept is a 17th century painting of the Veronese school showing depicting Saint Benedict Handing his Monastic Rule to Saint Augustine .

The marble high marble altar, decorated with semiprecious stones, is by Francesco Corbarelli and dates to 1667-68. The decoration and art here is all 17th century. The high altarpiece by Pietro Damini San Luca of The Virgin and the Patron Saints of Padua in which is also depicted the Torlonga.
 


 

San Michele
Oratory


History
The original church here may date back to the 6th or 7th century, being dedicated to the Archangels. Or it could be later as the first documented mention dates to 970. The Carrara lords helped in its rebuilding after a fire in 1390, which was caused by fighting between Francesco Novello's Paduans and Milanese soldiers, sent by the Visconti, who had besieged the nearby castle. This work, which involved expansion and painted decoration, was finished in 1397. In 1497 it passed to the congregation of Santo Spirito in Venice, in whose hands it remained until suppressed by the Pope Alexander VII in 1656. The Venetian Republic sold of its assets to pay for its war against the Ottoman Empire. After becoming the property of the Patriarch of Aquila the church went through the hands of various Venetian families in the 16th and 17th centuries. In 1792 much of the contents and art were removed, in 1808 it ceased to be the parish church and in 1812 it was closed. In 1815 Francesco Pisani, who lived in the palazzo next door, decided to demolish the church. All that was left was part of the nave and the chapel dedicated to the Virgin, which took on its present name at this time.

Andrea Palladio was baptised in the church in 1508.

Interior
The current small space, once the chapel mentioned above, is full of vivid frescoes by Jacopo da Verona, a pupil of Altichiero. They were painted in 1397, depict the  Life of the Virgin, having been commissioned by Pietro de' Bovi, an official of the Ferrarasi mint.

Opposite the entrance, above the arch into the nave of the church, is a three-panelled Annunciation. Below is St Michael, weighing the souls of the dead, and The Banishment of Adam and Eve, possibly a 16th century addition.

On the left wall are a Nativity and The Adoration of the Magi, the latter containing portraits of the Carrara lords Francesco il Vecchio, Francesco Novello and Francesco III as the first, second and third magi. Higher up to the right is depicted the Torlonga, one of the towers of the old castle before its 18th century transformation into an observatory.

The right wall has The Funeral of the Virgin and The Pentecost (see right), the former panel containing portraits of the commissioners of the frescoes, to the right dressed in dark robes. The wall of the current entrance has a very damaged Ascension. Under the arch, into what's left of the church, are The Doctors of the Church and The Four Evangelists. Some of the 16th century frescoes which decorated the nave remain, including a Deposition and a St Paul, attributed to Stefan dell'Azare and Domenico Campagnola respectively. When I visited in May 2016 this area was being restored, or maybe rebuilt.

Opening hours
June to September:  Tuesday to Friday 10:00 - 13:00, Saturday and Sunday 16:00 - 19:00
October to May:         Tuesday to Friday 10:00 - 13:00, Saturday and Sunday 15:00 - 18:00

Entry: full price Ç 2.00 reductions Ç 1.50
 



 

 

 














 


 



 

San Nicol˛


History
Original church built 1090 by Bishop Milo. The oldest parts of the current church are the door and the columns near it, from the 14th Century rebuilding. The rest is much later, 17th and 18th Century, but retains an ancient feel. This may be because the church underwent much restoration in the 1960s/70s aiming to restore it to it's pre-baroque state.

Exterior
The area in front of the church was a cemetery before Napoleon. The asymmetry of the interior is reflected in the facade view, with the ForzatŔ chapel poking out to the right of the campanile. Over the 15th Century doorway is a sculpted figure of Saint Nicholas, with God above and an Annunciation to the sides.

Interior
Has Padua 's common columns-and-pillars thing separating the nave from a narrow aisle on the left and an aisle and three connected deep chapels on right. A large and Giottoish 14th Century fresco fragment dominates the beginning of the left aisle depicting The Crucifixion with scenes from The Life of John the Baptist above. These are by Gerardino da Reggio and commissioned in 1374 by Marcus ForzatŔ, whose family chapel is opposite. There is a very damaged frescoed vault above with four roundels probably of the Four Evangelists.

The decorated ceiling in the shallow chapel to the left of the apse depicts San Liberale and is said to be by Jacopo da Montagnana (Jacopo Parisato) a pupil of Mantegna. The high altar was converted from the old Baroque altar table. The apse semi-dome is frescoed and there's an Annunciation frescoed over the right-hand chapel.

Of the right hand chapels the furthest, the organ chapel,  has Il Compiano by Varotari. The middle, confession, chapel has a very nice Madonna and Child with Saints Francesca Romana and Eurosia of 1777 by Giandomenico Tiepolo (the son) (see photo below). Before the 1960s renovations this painting was over the high altar. The first chapel, the baptistery, has a triptych of Madonna and Child with Saints James and Leonard described as 'school of Bellini'. It sits on the rosso Verona marble monument to Giordano and Marco ForzatŔ. The
former was a Benedictine and a monastic reformer as well as coming from one of the dominant local feudal families. That the family later intermarried with the Carrara possibly helps explain Giordano's later becoming know as beato. He is buried in San Benedetto Vecchio.

On the church's back wall, to the left of the door, is Saint Agnes in Glory recently restored.

Campanile

Restored in the 19th Century.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


 

SSan Pietro Apostolo


History
A church was known to have existed here in the 4th century, a rebuilding of 1026 followed destruction by Hun invaders around 900, and saw it passing to Benedictine nuns. Enlarged in the 14th Century, substantial work in the 18th Century and heavy restoration in the 19th and 20th. Following the Napoleonic suppressions of 1809 the nuns remained for a few years and monks from San Prosdocimus came here too, bringing with them the body of San Eustochio, which is still here.

Interior

Has the appearance of being aisleless but the aisles are behind a wall on the left and doors on the right. The nave has two pairs of shallow plain side altars. The deep choir is a riot of dark but well-illuminated fresco decoration. The longer and higher enclosed left- hand aisle is dedicated to Sant'Eustache and has his remains and a fresco-decorated ceiling. The right-hand aisle has two spaces that are more like chapels.

Art highlights
A painted altarpiece by Varotari (or Campagnola) of The Giving of the Keys, which is over the high altar, and Palma Giovane's The Fall of St Paul (see right) which is over the second altar on the left.

Opening times
Thursday and Saturday 9.00-12.00




 

San Tomaso Becket


Sant'Alberto Magno

 

Sant'Agnese

History
A church is said to been here in the 12th century. First documented in 1202 as a parish church. The, perhaps, 13th century structure underwent restoration and expansion from the early 16th century. After Napoleon the church lost its parish status and was absorbed by the parish of San Nicol˛. It became a rectory and survived until 1927 when it closed for worship. It's art was moved to San Nicol˛ and the Episcopal Palace and the building was sold and later made into a garage, which it remained until the late 1990s. Now abandoned and falling down.

The facade - oriented to the east - was probably, in the 16th century, covered in fresco. Romanesque bell tower of the 13th century .

Interior

The interior has been gutted.

Lost art
Paintings by Francis Minorello depicting the life of Saint Agnes are now in the Episcopal Palace. An altarpiece by Giandomenico Tiepolo of the Madonna and Child with Saints Francesca Romana and Eurosia is now in San Niccol˛. On the other altars were works by Giulio Cirello.

Sant'Andrea

History
Dedicated to St. Andrew the Apostle, the original church here was built before 1130 and in 1640 was completely rebuilt. In 1875 the single nave was transformed into a nave and aisles separated by Corinthian columns, with decoration reflecting contemporary taste. The work was finished in 1884 and the 'unfashionable' art previously in the church was dispersed. Some restoration in the 1920, the church was consecrated on October 17th 1941. Paduan Arrigo Boito, writer of libretti for Verdi and lover of Eleonora Duse, was baptized here on 19 March 1842. The building was damaged by the earthquake of the 3rd of June 2012.

Interior
The ceiling is decorated with paintings by Antonio Grinzato, but before the  19th century interventions showed The Apotheosis of St. Andrew by Giambattista Mengardi . The apse has an altar taken from the demolished church of San Marco which has three marble panels - The Sacrifice of Isaac, The Supper at Emmaus and The Paschal Lamb - by Francesco Bonazza. An altarpiece depicting the Madonna and Child with St. Andrew by Giovan Pietro Possenti. In the aisles and over the side altars are works from various sources and periods, including Saint Francis Xavier by Natale Plache, from the Gesuiti church demolished in the late 18th century and a Saint Martin in Glory of the 17th century, once the high altarpiece of the church of San Martino.

The Cat of Saint Andrew
In front of the church is the famous Cat of St. Andrew (see photo from 1918, far right) which traditionally is said to mark the highest point of the city: a rough stone lion taken as a war trophy from the  fortress of Este in 1209 by local residents. When the lion, at the end of the conflict, was returned, a  copy was made. After being knocked down several times in recent years (the most recent in 2013, when a van hit it) it was finally reassembled by Paduan sculptor Antonio Pennello.

 


 

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