The Basilica of San Petronio is a minor basilica and church of the Archdiocese of Bologna located in Bologna, Emilia Romagna, northern Italy. It dominates Piazza Maggiore. The basilica is dedicated to the patron saint of the city, Saint Petronius, who was the bishop of Bologna in the fifth century.
The Basilica of San Petronio is a minor basilica and church of the Archdiocese of Bologna located in Bologna, Emilia Romagna, northern Italy. It dominates Piazza Maggiore. The basilica is dedicated to the patron saint of the city, Saint Petronius, who was the bishop of Bologna in the fifth century. Construction began in 1390 and its main facade has remained unfinished since. The building was transferred from the city to the diocese in 1929; the basilica was finally consecrated in 1954. It has been the seat of the relics of Bologna's patron saint only since 2000; until then they were preserved in the Santo Stefano church of Bologna.
In 1388, the Consiglio Generale dei Seicento prepared the construction of the church as a civic temple. To make room for the church, the adjacent Curia of Sancti Ambrosii was demolished, together with the majority of one of the city's burgs, including at least eight churches and towers. The first stone of construction was laid on 7 June 1390 under the supervision of architect Antonio di Vincenzo. Works lasted for several centuries: after the completion of the first version of the facade, in 1393 the first pair of side chapels were begun. The series were completed only in 1479.
The third bay was built in 1441–1446. Its construction was delayed by the cardinal Baldassarre Cossa, who sold the construction material of the basilica and kept the money.
In 1514, Arduino degli Arriguzzi was chosen as the architect to construct the dome. His proposal included a large dome resting upon the width between the side aisles, which necessitated larger transepts and apses. This led to a form of a Latin cross, which was said to outdo St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. The project was considered too complicated, and after building the first two pillars and two triangular pylons for the dome, the work was halted. According to legend, Pope Pius IV halted the "megalomaniac dream" and instead encouraged the construction of the Archiginnasio of Bologna.
Address: Piazza Galvani, 5, 40124 Bologna BO, Italy
Hours: Open ⋅ Closes 1PM ⋅ Reopens 3PM
Architectural style: Italian Gothic architecture
Architect: Antonio di Vincenzo
Burials: Giuseppe Torelli, Elisa Bonaparte, Andreas Barbatius, Camillo Cortellini, Giuseppe Felice Tosi