A church has stood on the site of the Cathedral of Bologna on the city’s expansive main plaza since some time around 1000, but the cathedral today bears little resemblance to the original. A fire destroyed the early church in 1141.
The church was rebuilt, but extensive remodeling was undertaken in 1575 in advance of its elevation to the seat of the archdiocese. Unfortunately, the redo was too grandiose and disturbed the basic architectural bones supporting the structure; the vaults collapsed in 1599.
Church architects tried anew as the 17th century dawned. Aside from the crypts below, the existing Cathedral dedicated to Saint Petronio is relatively “new,” with a Baroque interior contrasting with its rather stern façade.
2 thoughts on “Postcard from Bologna, Italy: Dramatic alterations to altars through the centuries”
Very beautiful, Gayle, and I have so enjoyed your photographs and narratives.
Fairly early in the war and while I was still a toddler, my father, who was leader of a bomber squadron, was killed in action. Right at the end of the war, my mother met my wonderful stepfather, who was stationed in San Antonio. We moved to his home town, an Italian community in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and I started school. His parents were from Bologna, and his three older siblings had been born there, but my stepfather and his younger sister were born in Plymouth. And so I remember with fondness my Italian grandfather, aunts and uncles from Bologna. Their home was two blocks from the beach, a steady source of crabs and clams and lobsters, and I remember their fabulous cooking and how loving they were to me. I was lucky to have been among them in my formative years, and I have stayed in touch with family members to this day.
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What a beautiful story, Susan. Had no idea you spent time in that region. Not sure I will ever get to all the postcards I have from Bologna….