Basilica di San Antonio, Padova
This is one of the finest frescoes and done by Altichiero de Zevio. There is the painting of the death of St. Lucy from 1379-84, and holds the tomb of Saint Giorgio and a fresoce form 1385 of his beheading. The ceiling is the most magnificent, however, with Saint John the Baptist at the mid circle and surrounded by saintly people.
Padova is famous for its saint, Saint Antonio, known as The Saint (Il Santo). This is in fact where his grave is preserved.
The impressive Basilica complex also houses famous works of art, including three frescos by Tiziano and eight sculptures by Donatello.
This Basilica, also known as the Santo’s Basilica, is a 1232 work. It has eight Byzantine domes - similar to the domes of the San Marco’s Basilica, in Venice. It is one of the more richly decorated basilicas in Italy.
Construction of Basilica di Santo Antonio commenced in AD 1230 shortly after the death of Santo Antonio. This was a fast track project that was completed in only 70 years compared to hundreds of years for its sister basilica di Santa Justina. The basilica was built largely to hold the remains of Santo Antonio, and to serve as a pilgrimage center for admirers of the departed saint. Pilgrims from around the globe continue to flock to the basilica to pay their respects and hope for a saintly miracle or two.
Interesting side note: When it was noticed that dead Sn Antonio's tongue was decaying very slowly, a barber / surgeon removed his tongue and larynx, and they have been on display adjacent to his tomb ever since for pilgrims to " admire ". I don't know whether a well preserved tongue is as much a saintly attribute as it is the result of a life long penchant for strong drink.
Notice the vast array of harmoniously blended architectural styles incorporated in this shrine. Almost as many Byzantine style domes as the basilica di Santa Justina. Both basilicas bare a strong resemblance to Basilica di San Marco in nearby Venezia. The subtle geometric designs in and around the domes are much more characteristic of Islamic mosques than of Catholic basilicas. The towers or spires closely resemble minerets of mosques. The windows have the double narrow arches that are characteristic of Romanesque architecture. Gothic elements also abound. Atop the highest spire of the basilica stands a golden statue of an angel calling pilgrims to the holy edifice with his trumpet.
More on this fascinating basilica in my next tip.
The Three Little Pigs couldn't have done a better job.
The miniature replica of San Antonio Basilica on display at San Antonio this past weekend is fantastic. The detail is amazing, including the interior. The entire model is constructed of sheafs of wheat, bound and woven together.
I have no idea what the replica stands for, if indeed there was a cause other than a very talented craftsman with oodles of time on his hands. There was no place for offerings, however San Antonio was exceptionally busy during Sunday evening Mass.
St. Anthony is the patron saint of Padova. You can see it on things like cakes and, of course, there is a big basilica dedicated to him. The basilica stands in a big piazza, right in the historical cente of town. When you're done with the visit, just cross the street to the little ice-cream parlour where you can have a variety of traditional, hand-made, ice-cream and granita.
known as Basilica del Santo or Il Santo this is a magnificent building, outside its eight domes gleam in the sunlight, and inside it houses a wealth of paintings and sculptures, it is the most beautiful church I have visited thus far
work started on the Basilica in 1232 the year after the death of St Anthony aged 36 and completed over 60 years later
inside the Tresury Chapel [or Chapel of the Relics] are many treasured relics of St Anthony including his tongue, jaw and vocal chords, these are housed in beautiful gold reliquaries, the one holding the Saint`s tonge dates from the mid 15th century , and the one for the jaw from the 14th. Also here is a small slver case said to hold a piece of the cross on which Christ was crucified
the Main Altar is home to bronze sculptures by Donatello, the most famous works of art in the Basilica, although everywhere you look here there are the most fabulous artworks in Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque styles
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.
The Basilica of St Anthony is the main sight to see in Padova - in fact a place of pilgrimage for some. Its construction began immediately after the death of the Santo (1231) and completed at the beginning of the following century. This imposing basilica with its Romanesque-Gothic style, with eight domes and spires of eastern inspiration holds the body of St. Anthony and is the object of pilgrimages from all over the world.
The Basilica of Sint Anthony is more simply referred to as Il Santo. With my super zoom camera I could make out some of the not so often seen detail atop of one of the turrets near the 8 domes...a beautiful golden angel with a trumpet.
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.