In this chapter we discuss one of the most important areas of the historic center, in fact here is the Padova cathedral and the Baptistery.
The Cathedral Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta, also called the Padova Cathedral, is the main place of Catholic worship in the historic center of Padua, located a few steps from the city's main squares. The building initially built on the site of an ancient early Christian cathedral, was consecrated and damaged several times over time.
Despite the earthquake of 1117 which caused much damage, the cathedral was redesigned again, with the collaboration of Michelangelo Buonarroti, but substantial changes were made to the original project, until 1754, when the Cathedral was completed by the Venetian architect Girolamo Frigimelica. Today it appears in the guise of its sixteenth-century reconstruction, with three small portals and two mediocre rose windows.
It has an unfinished red brick façade, like many other buildings in the city, modest and without architectural impulses, but its long and tormented history of invasions and earthquakes does not deprive it of a certain charm. On the square in front of the Padova Cathedral, at one time, the characteristic pig market was held, until the square was given to the church, which turned it into a cemetery. Its majestic Latin cross-shaped interior is divided into three naves and recalls, on a smaller scale, the Basilica of Santa Giustina.
Not to be missed is the Sacristy of the Canons, which preserves important works of art, such as the Madonna with Child by Giusto de ’Menabuoi, and two splendid paintings by Giandomenico Tiepolo. In the crypt we can appreciate the altar of San Daniele with bas-reliefs by Tiziano Aspetti. Under the cathedral are preserved mosaics, terracotta urns, pieces of columns, carved stones, animal bones, which were probably part of ancient pagan sacrifices.
On his right, always facing Duomo Square, we find the Baptistery, one of the most sparkling examples of fourteenth-century art. This enchanting niche is owed to the wife of Francesco il Vecchio da Carrara, Fina Buzzaccarini, who chose it as the site of his last rest, later turning it into a mausoleum for the entire dynasty. The baptistery was decorated by Giusto de Menabuoi, between 1374 and 1376, with splendid frescoes depicting various episodes from the life of St. John the Baptist, Mary and Jesus. Finally, the representation of Paradise inside the dome is spectacular, with an enormous Christ in the center surrounded by a multitude of saints.
One of the oldest cities in Italy, its historic center preserves great treasures, great traditions and great values, Padua.
◊ THE PADOVA PROVINCE ◊
Is the most populated in the Veneto region, has always been a territory rich in resources, top-quality food and wine products and a destination for great artists and free thinkers. It is a predominantly flat area, crossed by numerous waterways and characterized by remarkable agricultural landscapes. Picturesque villages, abbeys and historic villas enrich this enchanted territory, while the Regional Park of the Euganean Hills will offer unforgettable moments to travelers. Do not miss the chance to spend a few days here! Plan your holidays in this wonderful province, our tips and suggestive photographs will help you take the right path.
◊ SPECIAL CATEGORIES ◊
The Veneto Region, nestled in the north-east of Italy, is a mix of history and traditions and, all of it, is enriched by the liveliness of its inhabitants and by a wide range of typical products all to be savored. From the highest peaks of the Dolomites, he embraces and welcomes each visitor with brotherly warmth, accommodating him among the many lounges of his cities of art, giving him unforgettable emotions. Turning between the pages of this site, you can organize your next holidays in the Veneto region and thanks to the many photos published, everything will be very simple.
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