San Pietro, Bologna
While San Petronio in Piazza Maggiore is the most dominant church in the cityscape, the bishop’s cathedral is another: San Pietro (St. Peter), a few steps round the corner in Via dell’Independenza.
The church originally dates from the 12th century but was refurbished repeatedly in the 16th-18th century. The appearance of both exterior and interior is thus baroque.
In the 1740s it received a new, baroque façade, built from bricks and covered in pinkish plaster with white marble ornaments. The street is too narrow, or the façade too big, to fully view and appreciate the beauty of the baroque architecture. It would need a wide open square in front to do it justice.
The interior hosts some remarkable art works. I peeped in during mass, though, so I could not walk around. The pieces that I found most impressive were the two Romanesque lions that carry the basins with the holy water (photo 4).
On Via Indipendencia, the large north-south main street in Bologna is this church, the cathedral of Bologna. Somehow it is very difficult to see, or better might be unnoticed because it is located among the city buildings and shops. I was astonished to learn that this one and not San Petronino is the official cathedral of the town. I liked the inside though because it looked rather harmonious and not overdone like many other churches I saw in town. I especially liked the lamps, built like flower bouquets.
Photography is not allowed, but I found a 40 sec. video, obviously taken during Christmas time.
Location of cathedral San Pietro (3) on Bing Maps.
© Ingrid D., November 2014 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.)
St. Peter Cathedral from 10th-11th century, called "metropilitana" in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII, have been rebuilt many times, last one beetwen 1600 and 1605. The huge statues representing St. Peter and St. Paul dominating the Church's facade were carved by Agostini Corsini and P.A. Verschaffelt, while Torreggiani designed central aisle inside the Chatedral.
The previous text could be jurnalists type of comment but travellers like it to be nice and easy. The church of San Pietro is the cathedral of Bologna, or metropolitana as the locals prefer calling it. In other words telling, cathedral is the religious and spiritual centre of one diocese, church where the bishop is adressing to his people. The first document in which this church was mentioned dates back to the 10th century, but some recent discoverings, together with archaeological elements have led experts to believe that it is Early hristian in origin.
The Cathedral was reconstructed in Romanesque style after the terrible fire in 1141, and then again in the second half of the 16th century by architect Domenico Tiboldi who transformed it in Renaissance style. The front facade, in its present look, is work of Alfonso Torreggiani between 1743 and 1755.
The bell tower rises up on the right side and is the oldest part of the Cathedral, built in Romanesque style and restored in early 13th century. They say there excist another bell tower, older in age, incorporated inside of the excisting and visible one. The bell tower is 70 metres in height and represents the second highest tower of Medieval Bologna, after Torre Asinelli.
Completely redone in the 17th century, the interior of Cattedrale di San Pietro lost all traces of its original Romanesque and Gothic architecture. The remodelling turned it into a showcase of bolognese Baroque architecture with some important frescoes and sculptures, particularly in the Cappella Maggiore. Other important works of art include the 12th century cedar wood sculptures of the Crucifixion and the 16th century terracotta sculptures of the Mourning of Christ.
Although second in size to Basilica di San Petronio, San Pietro is in fact the cathedral of Bologna. It traces its roots back to early Christian times, but the first account of its existence comes from the 10th century. The first structure was destroyed by a fire in 1141 AD and the Cathedral was rebuilt in the 13th century. Subsequent renovations and restorations, particularly in the 17th and 18th centuries, resulted in the disappearance of the original Romanesque or Gothic details, with the exception of the bell tower's body. The church is now almost entirely Baroque and Neoclassical. It is said that parts of the original early Christian circular bell tower remain within the 13th century square campanile.
This was built over the site of a Romanesque cathedral, destroyed by fire in 1141. On the initiative of Pope Benedetto XIV from Bologna the church was enhanced with a new facade planned by Alfonso Torreggiani
The architect Domenico Tibaldi designed the presbytery in 1575 and restored the Romanesque crypt, which can still be visited today. It was redesigned at the beginning of the 17th century, and the 60 metre wide vault was also built during this period. This building's special features are contained in the two concentric belltowers - in the 13th century the oldest Romanesque style belltower was enclosed by a taller belltower. The interior is extraordinarily large and is made up of a nave with adjoining side chapels. There are two red marble holy water containers, decorated with lions, which belonged to the original Romanesque-Gothic basilica.
Unfortunately there was restricted access to this cathedral when I visited, some kind of renovation going on.
Not many people know that San Pietro is the cathedral of the city of Bologna instead of the church of Saint Petronius. The building dates back to the 10th century when it was built in 910, but it was rebuilt after a fire in 1141. Between the 12th and the 13th centuries, the majestic bell tower was erected and a highly decorated marble prothyrum was added on the side, with a central rose window. The cathedral was appointed as the "Metropolitan" by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582. Inside, there are important works: the Annunciation, by Lodovico Carracci, in the high altar, the frescoes on the vault of the presbytery and the apse, a wooden Crucifixion of the 12th century and the Mourned Dead Christ, a group of terracotta sculptures by Alfonso Lombardi, dating back to the 16th century.
Open: 7am-12:30pm, 4pm-6pm everyday
Visitors to the church can now find an extremely interesting novelty. The door at the end of the minor nave on the left leads to the new exhibition rooms, prepared specifically for the Jubilee 2000. Here, for the very first time, the public can admire a permanent arrangement of the CATHEDRAL TREASURE, in other words, a wide selection of the priceless religious objects and furnishings of great artistic importance that were donated to the Cathedral over the centuries for use in the most solemn religious celebrations.
It's possible to visit the cathedral from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 15:30 p.m. to 19:30.
The bell tower rises up on the right-hand side of the church, near the side entrance in Via Altabella; it is the oldest part of the Cathedral and an extremely important document for its history. It was built in Romanesque style in the early 13th century, but contains another bell tower in the interior, built on a circular plan in the late 10th century and raised up immediately afterwards in 1184. The bell tower, 70 metres in height, represents the second highest tower of medieval Bologna (after the Tower of the Asineli).
The Cathedral of S. Pietro who goes back to the 910 but has been restored and modified many times. Even if this is the dome of the town, it is not the loved church for Bolognesi as S.Pietro has always been the symbol of the central power (Bologna was the second city of the Church State) while S.Petronio was the Church of the people.
It was built starting from an original nucleus in Romanesque Style. It is now the seat of the Bishop´s Throne of Bologna. The bell tower is of particular importance; it dates back to the 12th century and was built by Mastro Alberto. In 1426 the old wood dome was replaced by one of bricks with a leaden facing. The central nave and the side chapels are pianted by the greatest bolognaise artists, such as Ludovico Carracci, Prospero Fontana and Donato Creti.