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Santa Maria dei Servi (its full name is Chiesa della Nativita della Santa Vergine Maria ai Servi) is an 13th century building overlooking via Roma. The church was built between 1372 and 1390,at the behest of Fina Buzzaccari, wife of the Prince of Padova Francesco il Vecchio da Carrara. It was constructed on the ruins of the palace of Niccolo da Carrara, razed on the ground after owner in 1372 betrayed the Signoria Carraresi, by siding with the Scaligeri from Verona.
In 1393 Francesco Novello, son of Fina and Lord of Padova, entrusted the church to order of Servi di Maria (Servants of Mary). In the 16th century the church was subject of great embellishment works, especially by Bartolomeo da Campolongo who in 1511 built the portico. Many Padovan celebrities are buried in this church.
This Gothic building features the facade constructed by pilasters and arches, with an short porch in the middle where an elegant Lobbard-Ghotic styled portal can be seen, made of stone from Vicenza. The 14th century bell tower rises above the chapel, on the right side, which is constructed by pilasters and arches, same as the portico. The interior of the church is vast and rich in works of art by Giovanni Bonazza, Rinaldo di Francia and Damini. The most valuable is, however, the miraculous crucifix by Donatello.
Updated Mar 25, 2013
Address: Via Roma
Casa Olzignani, in Via Umberto I, is one of my most favorite buildings in whole of Padova, whenever am visiting the town I must see again this exceptionally structured house.
The house was erected in 1466 by Pietro Lombardo, one of the first Renaissance architects, and father of two Italian prominent sculptors. Pietro Lombardo (1435-1515) was an Italian sculptor and architect. He sculpted many Venetian tombs, including those of Dante Alighieri and several Venetian doges. His most appreciated project is the Venetian church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli.
Updated Mar 21, 2013
Address: Via Umberto I, 8
Palazzo Emo - Capodilista, located in Corso Umberto I, with a batllements and tall medieval tower, is one of the few buildings from the 13th century left in the city. It has the splendid Romanesque facade with three-lights balcony and staircase inside from the 17th century. In the hall of the palace there is the tombstone of Tito Livio, who died in Padova in 17 AD, with an inscription engraved on a large block of rough Euganean trachyte.
(Titus Livius Patavinus was a Roman historian who wrote a monumental history of Rome and the Roman people).
Inside the palace is a hall decorated by Francesco Zugno. Palazzo Emo - Capodilista is one of the many medieval tower-houses, so typical for the homes of noble families. Such a buildings were very numerous in the old core of the city, as it could be seen when strolling around.
Updated Mar 21, 2013
Address: Corso Umberto I
Loggia e Odeo Cornaro is an architectural complex built by Alvise Cornaro in the first half of the16th century. Thew loggia was born as an result of humanistic interests for the theatre-antique, to represent the works of Angelo Beolco, called "Il Ruzzante", who was superintendent of Alvise Cornaro and his man of trust. This Forum Cornaro that faithfully reproduces the classical literature was designed by the architect and painter Giovanni Maria Falconeto in 1524 and was specially designed for the theatre performances. In fact it is a sort of lap without a depth and was used as a performance space (stage is theatrical background). The octagonal room in the center of Odeo consist of straight walls alternating with niches and is very similar to the rooms of the Domus Aurea (at Rome), which was discovered only at the beginning of the 206th century. Some scholars have suggested that the room should serve to host music cncerts.
Updated Mar 18, 2013
Padova was quite a large town back when they needed walls for protection and so its wall cannot be walked, and also some homes were built right into the wall. There is one home in the center of Padova that has a 3 foot wall inside.
However, there are many places where you can see the wall up close and therefore you can see how they have been repaired, and constructed. This photo is from the wall nearest the Scrovegni Chapel where the famous paintings by Giotto can be viewed. You can see some reconstruction in the background... this has been going on for many years because of the economy.
The wall was built originally by the Romans. It was strong enough hundreds of years later to stop the Austrian ruler, who was thrown out, from getting his army back inside. There was a long seige. When he finally got inside, he burned part of Padova as their reward for his ousting.
I hope that now when you look at the wall, it will have more meaning for you.....
Written Jun 10, 2012
Several times a year the citizens take out their medieval costumes, dust off the swords and armor, and get ready for a weekend of medieval life. There is usually a parade on both days of the weekend, and big medieval market of things made during that time, and tours of parts of the medieval town. Some of this includes underground visits to things not seen by tourists, guided trips along the wall and canal and entrance to some of the towers.
The festival that I attended occurs in June of every year.
Written Jun 10, 2012
Address: Center of Padova
I love Italian 'tower houses'.
I first came across these early Medieval expressions of power (and how terribly symbolic having a bigger tower than anyone else clearly is!) in Pavia. since then I've noticed them...or their remains, for few are still at their original height..in other northern Italian towns. Tower houses were very much in fashion during the early Medieval period (the 1200s-1400s, roughly) but most have been greatly reduced in height over the centuries, for obvious reasons. You can somtimes spot an ex-tower house by its shape...square based and quite narrow, with its lower layers made of huge stones.
This one, attached to the Palazzo Zabarella, is the only one I spotted in Padova, though being with the FW meant I was not able to look as closely as I normally do.
As with most palazzi, the complex is much bigger than it appears from the street, stretching back around a central (hidden) courtyard. The area itself was the heart of Roman Padova, and the torre and palazzo date from the 12rh and 13th century. Restoration was completed in 1996 (see the website for info...it's in Italian).
The building is now used for exhibitions and events.
Written Apr 9, 2012
Address: Via degli Zabarella
It's very easy to miss history and architectural interest if you don't look up.
In this respect Padova is no different to anywhere else. So keep looking up...you'll see carvings and twiddles, frescoes and decorative brickwork, windows which tell you the building's age, sometimes clues to changes over the ages, elaborate balcony ironwork and...if you're lucky..a Green Man! :-)
Written Apr 9, 2012
I found Padova absolutely fascinating from an architectural point of view.
The historical centre still, in the main, has its Medieval street layout...and many of the streets are cobbled, and still lined with buildings of great age..some early Medieval, some later Medieval, palazzos and 'ordinary' houses, 18th-century mansions, arcades and pillars...
There is so much to see and enjoy as you wander.
Updated Apr 9, 2012
I didn't manage to visit the Duomo, because it was closed when I arrived (hours are 0730-1200 and 1545-1930).
But the Baptistry was open and really is well worth the 2.60 euro entrance fee.
This Romanesque building dates from the 1200s and was built by the Da Carrara family. It's not huge but is covered with frescoes by Giusto de'Menabuoi (from the late 1300s) and is absolutely lovely.
No photographs are allowed inside, unfortunately, but scenes depict the life of Christ on all four walls...some are absolutely delightful, and the colours seem very fresh. The cupola includes painted figures which almost give a 'trompe l'oeil' effect...very clever, given that the work is so early.
There is a beautiful wooden altarpiece with tiny paintings in jewel colours, also by Menbuoi.
Definitely a 'must-see'...and also a little oasis of peace and quiet in the city.
Written Apr 9, 2012
Address: Piazza del Duomo
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