Basilica di Sant'Antonio, (the Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua) is the largest church in Padua, Italy, is crowned by Byzantine domes and minaret style towers is only second to the Basilica of St. Marks for its Asian inspired beauty. The interior of the church is richly decorated courtesy of the generosity of Pilgrims who have made their way to this church for centuries to give thanks to the popular St. Antony.
Although the Basilica is visited by people from all over the world, it is not the titular cathedral of the city, a title belonging to the Duomo. The basilica is known locally as "il Santo". Officially the 13th June is the feast day of the saint, even if nowadays pilgrims come all year round to Padua, with the inner cloisters and church filled with happy groups of Pilgrims there is still a sense of life to be held in this church that many of its counterparts have lost.
Churches in Verona
Duomo - In a small square, which complements it to calculated effect, is Santa Maria Matricolare, the Cathedral of Verona. Built on the site of a previous Early Christian church and consecrated in 1187, the Cathedral has a fascade which is a perfect composite of Romanesque and Gothic forms. The grandiose porch, consisting of a double baldachin supported by columns resting on stylised lion figures, is particularly striking. The portal is the work of Nicola, the same artist who was responsible for the porch of San Zeno; here he sculpted various figures, including prophets and animals etc,.
Basilica of San Zeno is considered a masterpiece of Romanesque
architecture. The present structure was erected, for the most part from
1123-1135 and is the 3rd on this site, over the 4th
century shrine to Verona's patron saint, St. Zeno (died 380). The
splendid façade dominates the large square, and is flanked with a
beautiful 72 meter tall bell tower, which is mentioned by Dante in
Canto 18 of Purgatory in the Divine Comedy. The bell
tower was part of a prior building destroyed during an earthquake in the
beginning of the XII century.
Venice is full of "Church buildings" either standing majestically in a square or tucked away in an alley way, about 126 churches and 14 oratories spread throughout the historical center and 23 churches and 11 oratories on the lagoon islands, totaling 174 buildings. But here below, are mentioned only a few and the main ones...
Churches in Venezia
Saint Mark's Basilica (Italian: Basilica di San Marco a Venezia), the cathedral of Venice, is the most famous of the city's churches and one of the best known examples of Byzantine architecture. It lies on St Mark's Square (in the San Marco sestiere or district) adjacent and connected to the Doge's Palace. Originally it was the "chapel" of the Venetian rulers, and not the city's cathedral. Since 1807 it has been the seat of the Patriarch of Venice, archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice. For its opulent design, gilded Byzantine mosaics, and its status as a symbol of Venetian wealth and power, from the 11th century on the building was known by the nickname Chiesa d'Oro (Church of gold).
Il Redentore, more properly Chiesa del Santissimo
Redentore (Church of the Most Holy Redeemer), is Andrea
Palladio's great domed church on Giudecca, one of the islands of Venice.
Located on the waterfront of the Canale della Giudecca, it dominates the
skyline of the island.
It has one of the most prominent sites of any of Palladio's structures,
and is considered one of the pinnacles of his career. It is a large,
white building with a dome crowned by a statue of the Redeemer. In
the façade a central triangular pediment overlies a larger, lower one.
This design is reminiscent of Palladio's design for San Francesco
della Vigna, and was to be a feature often repeated by other
architects in the following two centuries. It has been suggested that
there are some Turkish influences in the exterior. Certainly, the
building is not classical in a narrowly defined sense of the term. As a
pilgrimage church, the building was expected to have a long nave, which
was something of a challenge for Palladio, with his commitment to
classical architecture. The result is a somewhat eclectic building, the
white stucco and gray stone interior combines the nave with a domed
crossing in spaces that are clearly articulated yet unified. An
uninterrupted Corinthian order makes its way around the entire interior.
Generally referred to as "La Salute," this crown jewel of
17th century baroque architecture proudly reigns at a
commercially and aesthetically important point, almost directly across
from the Piazza San Marco, where the Grand Canal empties into the lagoon.
San Giorgio Maggiore is church on the island of the same
name. The first St George’s church dates back to the 8-9th century. In
982 the whole island was donated to a Benedictine monk, who founded the
The bell tower, first built in 1467, fell in 1774; the reconstruction was completed in 1791. The Benedictine monks still officiate in the church.
San Francesco del Deserto
is one of the most representative spots of this culture; it is both the
most renowned of the small islands and the most important from an artistic
point of view.
Santa Fosca Church, built between the eleventh and the twelfth century. Outside there is a porch on five sides and inside it is possible to see the strict pentagonal apse. This small church is admirable for its proportioned dimensions and for the armony of the architectonic elements. Beyond this small but beautiful church there is the rest of the Baptistery (circle shape, 7th century). During the high tide there is sea water inside, reminding us that we are still in the lagoon.
Finally you'll arrive aat
Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral, built in 639 by the Ravenna's
exarch, Isaacio. There is no free admittance to the church. The
building had restorations in 864 and 1008 but the present construction
looks typical of the Veneto-Byzantine age (eleventh century). The church
inside is solemn with a floor made by rich marble mosaics. Above the
"Porta Maggiore" (Main Gate), is located the wonderful
mosaic titled "Christ's Aphoteosis" and "Last
Judgement", a real masterpiece attributed to Veneto-Byzantine
school (twelfth century). On the apse is the mosaic "The Virgin and
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