Tuesday, 14 February 2012 17:04

Basilica of Sant'Antonio

Written by  matta
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According to tradition, Saint Victor, the first Bishop of Piacenza, founded the basilica in an area called the Noble Valley, and was buried here in 375. The church was initially dedicated to him, but in 400, the Bishop Savino translated the remains of the martyr Sant’Antonino, who died in 303, who then became, together with Victor, the co-patron of the city. With the new dedication to the martyr, the basilica was the city’s Cathedral for several centuries and maintained an important spiritual and political role for a long time. In 1183, it was chose as the site of a meeting between Imperial ambassadors and representatives of the Lombard League when the Peace of Constance was signed. In 758, the Cathedral was moved to the site of the current Cathedral, at the time dedicated to Santa Giustina, and which shared the piazza with a second church, San Giovanni de Domo, which may also have been a baptistery. In 870, the simple Paleo-Christian basilica was enlarged by the construction of a transept and a rectangular lantern over the crossing. The church was repeatedly plagued by Hungarian invasions during the 10th century, and in 1004, the Bishop Sigfrido promoted the construction of a third church, whose pre-Romanesque characteristics and overall look persist in the modern building. There were numerous later interventions and restructurings, particularly in 1693, when the interior was remodeled in a Baroque style, to later be completely be restored according to neomedieval taste in 1853. The structural complexity of Sant’Antonino, the prominence of its history and the uniqueness of several of its architectonic characteristics, make it one of the most important religious complexes in Piacenza.

The historic events and the evolution of architectural taste have left a lasting effect on the structure and the stylistic variety of the Basilical complex. The shape of Bishop Siegfried’s building has in some ways impacted the successive interventions, giving the church a spectacular uniqueness, and determining a mix of styles that manage to amalgamate in a surprisingly harmonic manner. Brick dominates the building’s aesthetic: the glue that ties this fascinating structural mix together. The plan is an inverted Latin cross, with the transept preceded by the aisles and the large octagonal tower above the crossing. In 1350, Pietro Vago built the large “Paradise” Atrium, in Lombard Gothic forms, in order to exalt the building’s main entrance. As anticipated, the 11th-century interventions substantially reconstructed the preexisting structure, the Latin cross was turned 45 degrees, the arm was elongated and three aisles were built terminating in apses. During this phase, the large open tower was built, with three floors of double-lancet windows, and a cloister was constructed. The present cloister, from 1523, replaced the medieval one in Renaissance forms. The church was vaulted in 1453.


Additional Info

  • Address: Piazza Sant’Antonino, 29121 Piacenza
  • Province:
  • Phone: +39 0523320653
  • Opening Days and Time:

    Da Lunedì a Sabato

    mattino: 8-12 / pomeriggio: 16-18:30


    mattino: 9-12:30 / sera: 20-21:30

  • Guided Tour: Per visite guidate contattare l'associazione Rabisch (Tel: +39 338 6357868 - associazione.rabisch@gmail.com) Si offrono visite per gruppi di studenti, adulti e disabili. Guide disponibili in lingue straniere.
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