Basilica di Santo Stefano, Bologna

4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars - 21 Reviews

Been here? Rate It!

hide
  • Chiesa di San Vitale e Agricola
    Chiesa di San Vitale e Agricola
    by croisbeauty
  • Basilica di San Stefano
    Basilica di San Stefano
    by croisbeauty
  • Basilica di Santo Stefano
    by croisbeauty
  • croisbeauty's Profile Photo

    Complex of San Stefano

    by croisbeauty Updated Jan 29, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Complex of San Stefano
    4 more images

    San Petronio's tomb (431-450) is preserved in the church of San Sepolcro which was built during the 5th century and later resored in the 12th century. Petronio was a bishop of the town and is patron saint of Bologna. The courtyrd adjacent to the church is called "Cortile di Pilato" and has lovely marble basin in which believers would throw coins.
    The following church is Chiesa della Trinita, famous for its heavy ornate crosses placed in the three niches and representing Christ and the two thieves.
    Human remains of Saints Vitale e Agricola are kept in two sepulchres made of stone in the 5th century church Chiesa di San Vitale e Agricola. In addition, a magnificent Roman cloister is located very close to the complex of the seven churches.

    Was this review helpful?

  • von.otter's Profile Photo

    Basilica di Santo Stefano, Part V, The Interior

    by von.otter Updated Nov 1, 2010
    Basilica di Santo Stefano, Bologna, May 2010
    4 more images

    “Never one of the more beautiful cities of Italy, Bologna is nevertheless a place of some interest, chiefly because of its school of painting. But at first sight what strikes the traveller as most characteristic is the arcades, that give to this old-world city a curious individuality. There are indeed really miles of them, so that it is said to be possible to pass through the whole city under cover.”
    — from “Italy and the Italians” 1903 by Edward Hutton

    The buildings of Santo Stefano represent the places where Christ’s Passion played out. Originally there were seven churches in the complex; now following renovations carried out in the late 19th and early 20th centuries there are only four.

    In Chiesa del Santissimo Crocefisso you will see columns and capitals from Roman construction.

    Basilica dei Santi Vitale e Agricole is thought to be the city’s oldest church, with the remains of sixth century mosaic floors.

    Chiesa del San Sepolcro, also called Chiesa del Calvario, is round and holds the tomb of San Petronio (see photo #4), patron saint of Bologna. A replica of Christ’s tomb, including the Angel of Good News and the sleeping Roman soldiers, is on view at this church. At Easter the stone is rolled back to help the faithful recreate the discovery of the Resurrection.

    Chiesa della Trinità church, restored between 11th and 12th century, has a 14th-century crib made of painted and gold wood by Simone dei Crocifissi you can admire.

    Opening Hours Weekdays: 9 am - 12.30 pm / 3.30 pm - 6.30 pm; Holidays: 9 am - 1 pm / 3.30 pm - 7 pm. During Mass, tourist visits could be limited or suspended.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • von.otter's Profile Photo

    Basilica di Santo Stefano, Part IV, The Cloister

    by von.otter Updated Nov 1, 2010
    Santo Stefano, Cloister, Bologna, May 2010
    4 more images

    “Never one of the more beautiful cities of Italy, Bologna is nevertheless a place of some interest, chiefly because of its school of painting. But at first sight what strikes the traveller as most characteristic is the arcades, that give to this old-world city a curious individuality. There are indeed really miles of them, so that it is said to be possible to pass through the whole city under cover.”
    — from “Italy and the Italians” 1903 by Edward Hutton

    Within the courtyard of Santo Stefano is a first-story cloister supported by delicate columns with the most amusing capitals (see photos #1, #2 & #3). This Benedectine cloister has a double open gallery dating from 10th century to the 13th century.

    Opening Hours Weekdays: 9 am to 12.30 pm / 3.30 pm to 6.30 pm; Holidays: 9 am to 1 pm / 3.30 pm to 7 pm

    During Mass, the tourist visit could be limited or suspended.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • von.otter's Profile Photo

    Basilica di Santo Stefano, Part III, The Courtyard

    by von.otter Updated Nov 1, 2010
    Basilica di Santo Stefano, Bologna, May 2010
    4 more images

    The marble basin, from AD 741, stands at the center of Cortile di Pilato with it two-story cloister. Cortile di Pilato is a remarkably peaceful place; the marble basin was given by Liutprando and Ilprando, kings of the Lombards. This is the very heart of Santo Stefano.

    Opening Hours Weekdays: 9 am - 12.30 pm / 3.30 pm - 6.30 pm; Holidays: 9 am - 1 pm / 3.30 pm - 7 pm

    During Mass, the tourist visit could be limited or suspended.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • von.otter's Profile Photo

    Basilica di Santo Stefano, Part II, The Walls

    by von.otter Updated Nov 1, 2010
    Basilica di Santo Stefano, Bologna, May 2010
    4 more images

    “Santo Stefano in Bologna presents the most curious and interesting collection of churches in Northern Italy.”
    — from ‘Northern Italian Details: Drawings and Photographs’ 1916 by Walter Grant Thomas, John Tiernan Fallon

    Basilica di Santo Stefano was built in part by recycling materials from the Roman and Byzantine eras. This recycling practice is my favorite feature of this collection of buildings.

    On the walls facing the courtyard, checkerboard and herringbone patterns (see photos #1, #2 and #3), and even a cross (see photo #4), were formed with re-purposed bricks and marble.

    Opening Hours Weekdays: 9 am - 12.30 pm / 3.30 pm - 6.30 pm; Holidays: 9 am - 1 pm / 3.30 pm - 7 pm

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • von.otter's Profile Photo

    Basilica di Santo Stefano, Part I

    by von.otter Updated Nov 1, 2010
    Basilica di Santo Stefano, Bologna, May 2010
    4 more images

    “Saint Stephen, an extraordinary church, formed by the uniting of seven chapels, is one of the oldest and most characteristic in Italy.”
    — from “Historical, Literary, and Artistic Travels in Italy” 1835 by Antoine Valery (1789-1847)

    AN AGE OLD CHURCH Locally known as Sette Chiese, Seven Churches, the Basilica of Santo Stefano is a complex of buildings in the Romanesque style that were built on the site of a temple that was dedicated to the goddess Isis. Because of renovations carried out between 1870 and 1930 today the complex contains only four churches, Chiesa del Santissimo Crocifisso, Bsilica dei Santi Vitale e Agricola, Chiesa del San Sepolcro and Chiesa della Trinita.

    After being made bishop of Bologna in AD 432, San Petronio founded the church of Santo Stefano. Our Saint had been on pilgrimage to the Holy Land and based the plan for this shrine on Jerusalem’s Holy Sepulchre. The present-day churches were built between the 11th and 13th centuries.

    Opening Hours Weekdays: 9 am - 12.30 pm / 3.30 pm - 6.30 pm; Holidays: 9 am - 1 pm / 3.30 pm - 7 pm

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • MM212's Profile Photo

    il Complesso di Santo Stefano

    by MM212 Updated Jul 23, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Santo Stefano by night
    4 more images

    Known as le sette chiese, i.e., the seven churches, the complex of Santo Stefano is one of the most important religious, historical and architectural structures in Bologna. The complex, as a Christian place of worship, dates from the 5th century AD, but it was built over the Roman temple of the goddess Isis. Although expanded and modified over time, it still contains elements from the earliest periods. Its most important churches are: la Chiesa del Crocifisso, la Chiesa del Sepolcro, and Santi Vitale e Agricola, the three of which are described in further detail below. Other interesting features include il Cortile di Pilato (Pilate's Courtyard), la Chiesa della Trinità (Church of the Holy Trinity), il Chiostro dei Benedittini (Cloister of the Benedictines) and the Museum of Santo Stefano. The complex is located on Piazza Santo Stefano.

    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • MM212's Profile Photo

    la Basilica dei Santi Vitale e Agricola

    by MM212 Updated Jul 23, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    la Basilica dei Santi Vitale e Agricola
    2 more images

    The most fascinating church in the complex of Santo Stefano, la Basilica dei Santi Vitale e Agricola contains many elements from ancient structures. Although it was rebuilt in the 11th century in a Romanesque style, the interior has conserved Roman columns from the 3rd century AD as well as fragments of ancient mosaics. It was once dedicated to Saint Peter, but was later rededicated to Saints Vitale and Agricola, the local martyrs who escaped persecution in Roman times.

    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • MM212's Profile Photo

    la Chiesa del Santo Sepolcro

    by MM212 Updated Jul 23, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The dodecagonal church of the Holy Sepulchre
    4 more images

    Dodecagonal in plan, la Chiesa del Santo Sepolcro is the oldest church in the complex of Santo Stefano. It is thought to have been built in the 5th century AD as a recreation of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem by Saint Petronius, Bishop of Bologna, over the Roman temple of Isis. Materials from the temple, including some columns made from African marble, were reused in its construction. However, the church was rebuilt in the 12th century, so it is uncertain how much of the original church was retained, other than the columns. The exterior of the church harmoniously mixes Byzantine, Pisan, Romanesque, and Gothic features. The church is accessed through la Chiesa del Crocifisso, and from here, the next church, la Chiesa di Santi Vitale e Agricola as well as the courtyard known as Cortile di Pilato are accessed

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • MM212's Profile Photo

    la Chiesa del Crocifisso

    by MM212 Updated Jul 23, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Chiesa del Crocifisso
    1 more image

    The complex of Santo Stefano is entered through la Chiesa del Crocifisso, Church of the Holy Crucifix. Built in the 8th century AD, it is the largest church in the complex. It has a Romanesque façade and its interior consists of a single nave with an elevated presbytery in the back. Suspended from an arch is a large wooden cross carved by Simone dei Crocifissi in the 14th century. A door on the left hand side of the church provides access to the adjacent Chiesa del Santo Sepolcro.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • ludogatto's Profile Photo

    Sette Chiese

    by ludogatto Written Nov 11, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    3 more images

    This is a 7 church compelx builded at the end of a funnel square....the

    Santo Stefano is a complex of religious edifices located in funnel square, Piazza Santo stefano, surrounde by great elegant nobles building of differnt ages. In Bologna we call it 7chiese (7churches) cause the complex it's made by 7 different churches.

    The tradition or the legend talk that the bishop Saint Petronius, in the 5th century, want to buil the petronian Jerusalem Sepolcrum.
    On this building there are many historiy and legend, but there are a special atmosphere inside that the bologna people love a lot....

    Was this review helpful?

  • Airpunk's Profile Photo

    Piazza and Via Santo Stefano

    by Airpunk Updated Oct 25, 2006

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Buildings along Via San Stefano/Piazza San Stefano

    A couple of interesting buildings can be seen at the northern part of Via San Stefano. The most northern point of this street is the Piazza di Porta Ravegnana with the famous two towers. Along the street, you will find the Mercanzia, the old trading association chamber and a couple of more renaissance palaces. Have a look at the Casa Bolognini with its wood and brick archways (porticos). After 200 meters, the street gets wider to form the Piazza San Stefano.

    At the Piazza San Stefano, you will find the church complex of San Stefano and more renaissance houses, like the houses of Tacconi and Isolani (more wooden structures). In fornt of these houses, a weekly market takes place. The Piazza San Stefano is a popular place to hang out and meet friends. Of course, it is not as lively as Piazza Maggiore or Piazza del Nettuno, but also not as touristy. I was there during midday break and south of the Piazza San Stefano, there was a kind of spooky atmosphere. Compared to the piazza, everything seemed so quiet and the atmosphere changed within seconds.

    Related to:
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Airpunk's Profile Photo

    Basilica di Santo Stefano

    by Airpunk Updated Oct 23, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Chiesa del Crocifisso
    2 more images

    Santo Stefano was a complex of 7 churches and is therefore often referred to as the siette chiese. After restauration works in the late 19th and early 20th century, the number was reduced to four: Chiesa del Crocifisso, San Sepolcro, Chiesa della Santa Trinitá and Chiesa dei SS. Vitale e Agrica. If you would count these four churches as a single one, they would form the world's fifth largest church.

    The Chiesa del Crocifisso from the 11th century is the most visible one when you look southwards at Piazza San Stefano.
    San Sepolcro (12th century) was modeled after the holy sepulchre in Jerusalem. It contains the tomb of Bologna's patron, San Petronio (but not his relics, these are now in the basilica of San Petronio). This church stands to the east of the Chiesa del Crocifisso.
    The most eastern church is the Chiesa dei SS. Vitale and Agricola, originating from the 5th century but altered between the 8th and 11th. This is the oldest church of Bologna and was once a pagan temple. Vitale and Agricola were two martyrs who were buried in this church.
    Behind them you will find the fourth church, the Chiesa della Santa Trinitá from the 13th century. You will find a small museum in it.

    Related to:
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • croisbeauty's Profile Photo

    Basilica di S. Stefano

    by croisbeauty Updated Jun 12, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Basilica di San Stefano
    4 more images

    Basilica di Santo Stefano is formed by seven Churches different in style, colour and shape. This group of Churches is thought to be the most ancient monument in Bologna and St. Petronius himself, bishop and protector of the town, is indicated as having designed the Basilica in 983. The project was called Santa Hierusalem, from Latin, because of similarities to the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.
    St. Petronius' tomb is preserved in Chiesa del Santo Sepolcro, which was built during the 5th century and later restored during the 12th century.
    The following churches are: Chiesa della Trinita, Chiesa di San Vitale e Agricola, Chiesa del Crocefisso.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Willettsworld's Profile Photo

    Santo Stefano

    by Willettsworld Written Aug 25, 2005

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    4 more images

    Santo Stefano is a curious collection of four medieval churches (there were originally seven) jumbled together under one roof. The main entrance is in the 11th century church of the Crocifisso (on the right of the picture). This church contains a crypt dating back to 1019 and precious works of art. From this church you walk into the polygonal shaped San Sepolcro which also dates back to the 11th century. Its centrepiece is the tomb of St Petronius, modeled after the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The courtyard contains the so-called Fontana di Pilato, an 8th century basin. The next church along (furthest left on the picture) is the church of Santi Vitale e Agricola which originally dates from the 5th century (it was a converted Temple of Isis), making it the oldest church in the city. It was rebuilt in the 8th and 11th centuries and contains the sarcophagi of Saints Vitalis and Agricola who were martyred in the 4th century. Santa Trinita can be found behind the 3 churches and features a small museum.

    Open: Daily 9am-noon and 3:30-6:30pm.

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Bologna

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

82 travelers online now

Comments

Hotels Near Basilica di Santo Stefano
4.5 out of 5 stars
118 Opinions
0.3 miles away
Show Prices
4.5 out of 5 stars
375 Opinions
0.7 miles away
Show Prices
4.5 out of 5 stars
379 Opinions
0.7 miles away
Show Prices

View all Bologna hotels