Friday, 25 May 2012 12:37

Church of Santo Stefano at Reggio Emilia

Written by  matta
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As early as the 11
th century, there was a chapel dedicated to the protomartyr Santo Stefano, close to the city of Reggio Emilia. From the manuscripts in the archive of San Prospero we learn that in 1019, the emperor Henry II donated to Bishop Teuzone the chapel and the adjacent buildings as a hospice for pilgrims. In 1047, Bishop Sigifredo II left Santo Stefano to the canons of San Prospero in Castello. Then on February 23, 1130, Provost Erardo, in the name of the Chapter of San Prospero, left the church, hospital and its property to Alberto, Abbot of the Abbey of Frassinoro. The Benedictines thus became the beneficiaries of Santo Stefano with the obligation of paying an annual rent of eight pounds of oil. In January 1161, Achille Taccoli, Archdeacon of Reggio and Provost of the Basilica of San Prospero, left Santo Stefano to the Templars.

We can hypothesize a first campaign soon after the mid-11th century: the chapel was at that time transformed into a small oratory by the complex’s new canons. The walls of the aisles, the octagonal piers and the columns of the second bay probably belong to this campaign, distinguishable for their peculiar type of brickwork. A precious trace of the 11th-century building can be seen in the limestone vegetal capital, conserved in the offices of the parish priest. The stylistic characteristics of the decoration find many resonances in the sculpture of the region; an interesting comparison can be made with the capitals in the Bolognese crypt of the church of SS. Naborre and Felice. We do not have specific documents, but it is probable that the expansion of the building was after 1130, as a direct consequence of its possession by the Abbey of Frassinoro. The brick columns and capitals in the transept also attest to the church’s reconstruction along the stylistic lines of the Po Valley Romanesque.



Additional Info

  • Address: Via Emilia a Santo Stefano 30, 42121 Reggio nell'Emilia RE
  • Province:
  • Phone: +39 0522-437698
  • Opening Days and Time:

    Da Lunedì a Domenica: 8-12 e 15-20

  • Guided Tour: Per visite guidate contattare l'associazione Rabisch (Tel: +39 338 6357868 - Si offrono visite per gruppi di studenti, adulti e disabili. Guide disponibili in lingue straniere.
  • Recommended Restaurants:
Last modified on Friday, 25 May 2012 13:05