Basilica di San Antonio, Padova
Inside, the high altar features Donatello's magnificent reliefs (1444-5) on the miracles of St Anthony and his statues of the Crucifixion, the Virgin and Paduan saints. The tomb of St Anthony lies in the north transept with large marble reliefs depicting the saint's life, carved in 1505-77 by various artists, adorn the walls around it.
This exotic church, with its minaret-like spires and Byzantine domes, is also known as Il Santo. It was built from 1232 to house the remains of St Anthony of Padua, a preacher who modelled himself on St Francis of Assisi. Although he was a simple man who rejected worldly wealth, the citizens of Padua built one of the most lavish churches in Christendom to serve as his shrine.
The influence of Byzantine architecture is clearly visable in the basilica's outline: a cone-shaped central dome rises above seven encircling domes; the facade combines Gothic and Romanesque elements.
....... a must see:
- Reliquary of the tongue
- the unique Presbytery
- old chapel of St. Anthony on the walls of which Stefano da Ferrara had painted the miracles performed by the Saint......
I was almost been thrown out of the basilica when the security saw me taking this picture.
The last phase of the building began with the ambulatory inside the apse with radiating chapels. The first stone of the centre chapel was laid in 1267, the other eight were built with endowments before 1296-97. When the basilica was at last completed and inaugurated, the Sarcophagus of St. Anthony was moved definitively to the spot in the north transept, where it is today.
It was rainy day when I took this picture, couldn't avoid drops of rain on my objective.
Shown is the front view of this fascinating medieval basilica. This closeup view better illustrates the blending of Romanesque, Gothic, and Byzantine / Moorish architectural styles. I stood in the shade of a magnificent bronze equestrian statue as I took this photo. Thanks to my total lack of pre trip research, I did not even realize that this statue is the great Donatello's masterpiece of Gattamelato from AD 1443. Yours truly did not even take a picture of it. Inside of the basilica are many original other original works of Donatello and Titian. In short basilica di Santo Antonio is a must see for Italian Renaissance art enthusiasts.
It is not allowed to take any picture inside of the basilica.
When inside of the basilica a must see:
- the magnificient Saint's Altar
- sculptured panels of the miracles of St. Anthony
- the Saint's tomb
- Chapel of St. James.......
During their removal, the tongue of the great preacher was discovered to be still helthy and flexible. The fame of this prodigy increased the number of pilgrims, and the new church showed itself to be too small to hold them all. So in 1265 the Authorities of Padua decided to contribute four thousand lire a year ( a cosiderable sum in those days) to build the church of the Saint, until such time as it should be completed. Thus, in the second half of the 13th c., the basilica of St. Anthony assumed the characteristics of a pilgrimage church like those in France.
In 1256 Pope Alexander IV granted a special Indulgence to anyone who contributed to the completion of the new church begun by the Minor Friars of Padua. The Papal indulgence was valid for six years and on April 8 1263 the sarcophagus of the Saint was moved from Santa Maria Mater Domini to the new church where it was placed under the third dome.
The courtyard of the Basilica Di Sant' Antonio is very beautiful. A lot of trees and plants embedded in the ancient architecture. There are also some nice sculptures or carvings here too. The basilica itself inside is also very ancient and beautiful.
The major altarpiece is among the highlights of this – one of the most impressive of Padua – religious building. Created by no one less than Donatello (and his pupils, to be fair to them) between the years 1443 and 1450, this altar (in warm golden and blackish colours that) tells the story of the miracles of Sant’Antonio in bronze.
Besides the miracles of Sant’Antonio, there’s also a picture in bronze of Virgin Mary with Jesus Christ as the Child on the throne, circled by various Saints and all this is surmounted by a cross. A complicated structure indeed….
The Basilica faces the Piazza del Santo square that (in summer at least) is full of tourists and small souvenir vendors. While it’s a place worth hanging around to watch people, I (having not that much time) preferred watching the facade…
28 meters high and 37 meters long, it incorporates the elements of both Romanesque and Gothic architecture – a sign that it was built when the transition between styles was happening in Europe.
It has pretty austere Romanesque forms together with several elements of purely Gothic style: like 4 blind sharp arches, a rose with stained glass, and (a more rare thing!) a gallery. Don’t miss the bronze doors as well – but no one entering is likely to do this :))
One of the most exotic churches I have ever seen. I'd rank it third in the exotic line after Sagrada Familia by Gaudi in Barcelona and Basilica of San Marco in Venice. Though thinking of it, it looks somewhat similar to the highlight of Venice. Same Byzantine cupolas do the trick, I guess…
The Basilica of Sant'Antonio, featuring besides the cupolas, also several minaret-like towers, was built in 1232 (pretty old, this!) to house the body of the namesake Saint - one of the Portuguese followers of San Francesco.
With yellowish and reddish bricks, cupolas in grey-white, and bizarre Gothic and Romanesque forms I'd call it the sight to see in Padua.
A note: Unfortunately, you can not take photos inside.
The Basilica di S. Antonio is one of the real highlights of Padova, and also an important Italian pilgrimage place. The building is stunning: a blend of Romanesque, Gothic and Byzantine style.
Outside and inside the basilica has seen many changes since it was first built in the 13th century: new elements, frescos, stuatues, bas-reliefs and marbles were continuously added: someone described the basilica as a Noah's Ark of Art. Some artists who have contributed to embellishing the tomb of Saint Anthony are: Altichiero da Zevio and Giusto dè Menabuoi (frescos), Donatello (sculptures), Giambattista Tiepolo (restoration and frescos)
Basilica of St. Anthonyis, the resting place of the Saint is the place of pilgime of Catholics from all around the world. It's really imposing and unusual Romanesque-Gothic constraction with several domes and spires.
Very active church, with many pilgrim visitors, consequently when I went there was a service being performed as pilgrims and tourists trapsed around the aisles, and queued to see the tongue, larynx and vaious other gory body parts of Saint Anthony !! The basilica also had a couple of beautiful cloister gardens.