Santo Stefano at Bazzano

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The church of Santo Stefano is located between the Bentivoglio’s fortress and the clock tower inside the walls of the town of Bazzano who had a central role in the defense of the whole western area of the hills around Bologna. The first document attesting its existence dates from 798 and shows the function that assumed the old church in political conflicts that occurred between Modena and Bologna for the certification of landed estate belonging to the two municipalities. While in the tenth century the church was under the jurisdiction of the bishop of Modena, in 1204 it passed under Bologna. These legal vicissitudes ended with the final transition to the jurisdiction of the Church of Bologna in 1398 at the behest of Pope Boniface IX. Over the centuries, the building was affiliated with other churches of greater importance: for example, in 1155, it belonged to Monteveglio’s parish and between the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries it was one of the properties of the church of Sant'Andrea at Corneliano. In 1573 however, with the increase in population density, it became an autonomous church assuming the dependencies of the parishes of Crespellano, Pregatto, Oliveto, Montemaggiore and Montebudello. Between the sixteenth and seventeenth century, the Bentivoglio’s fortress was rebuilt, and this operation involved also the church, which took on its current direction, with the apse to the west and the entrance to the east. This was followed by further action of alteration of the original structure: in the eighteenth century, for example, architect Francesco Tadolini enlarged it with the construction of the Blessed Sacrament chapel; it was then enlarged in the early decades of the twentieth century with the erection of the left aisle. The last intervention was carried out in connection with the bombings of 1944, when it was decided to recover the original shape of the structure: so the current facade, dating back to the restoration of 1945, recalls in particular the Romanesque style and in the same way the half-columns, capitals, and rose-window.

After the discovery inside the church of one of the oldest artifacts currently surviving, probably a stone portal fragment in Lombard or Carolingian style, we cannot exclude a Byzantine origin of the structure. The church was, in fact, influenced by the Romanesque style, which leaves its traces for example in the presence of a fragment of sandstone capital decorated with a rosette with seven petals and shapes of lily, preserved today in the communal museum "Arsenio Crespellani" in the fortress of Bentivoglio. At that time, the building also had a typical Romanesque structure with a single nave and an apse facing east. Now the church has a tripartite nave with an apse facing west, with a flat front. Inside the church are exposed modern artistic works, such as the Santo Stefano of Simon Cantarini placed on the altar and some paintings of Gaetano Gandolfi.

Additional Info

  • Address: Via Contessa Matilde 5, Bazzano (BO)
  • Province:
  • Phone: +39
  • Opening Days and Time:

    Chiesa Parrocchiale: chiusa nei giorni feriali

    9:00/19:00 nei festivi

  • 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.
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Last modified on Monday, 12 November 2012 12:32