Religious sites in Italy

Neustift Abbey

Neustift Abbey is one of the most prestigious monasteries of northern Italy and Alpine region. It was founded in 1142 by the Bishop of Brixen. Buildings have been rebuilt and expanded several times until the 18th century. Neustift Abbey was dissolved by the Bavarian government in 1807. Today it is a convention center and ecological center. The abbey, since its establishment, has been a place of shelter for pilgrims ...
Founded: 1142 | Location: Vahrn, Italy

Santa Costanza

Santa Costanza is a 4th-century round church in Rome with well preserved original layout and mosaics. It has been built adjacent to a horseshoe-shaped church, now in ruins, which has been identified as the initial 4th-century cemeterial basilica of Saint Agnes. Santa Costanza and the old Saint Agnes were both constructed over the earlier catacombs in which Saint Agnes is believed to be buried. According to the traditiona ...
Founded: 4th century AD | Location: Rome, Italy

Church of Saints Marcellinus and Peter

Santi Marcellino e Pietro al Laterano is dedicated to Saints Marcellinus and Peter, 4th century Roman martyrs, whose relics were brought here in 1256. The first church on the site was built by Pope Siricius in the 4th century, close to the Via Labicana"s catacombs of Marcellinus and Peter, with an adjoining hospice which became a centre for pilgrims. This church was restored by Pope Gregory III in the 8th century. I ...
Founded: 1751 | Location: Rome, Italy

Innichen Abbey

The Abbey of Innichen was founded in the 8th century and rebuilt in the 12th–13th centuries. Its collegiate church is considered the most important Romanesque building in Tyrol and the Eastern Alps and, it is home to a 13th-century sculpture and a fresco cycle from the same age in the dome. The original abbey was founded in 769, when Tassilo III, duke of Bavaria gave to abbot Atto von Scharnitz some lands going from t ...
Founded: 1140 | Location: Innichen, Italy

Padua Cathedral

Padua Cathedral is the third structure built on the same site. The first one was erected after the Edict of Milan in 313 and destroyed by an earthquake on 3 January 1117. It was rebuilt in Romanesque style: the appearance of the medieval church can be seen in the frescoes by Giusto de' Menabuoi in the adjoining baptistery. The design of the existing cathedral is sometimes attributed to Michelangelo, but in fact it was th ...
Founded: 1551 | Location: Padua, Italy

Collegiate Church of St Mary Magdalene

The Collegiate Church of St Mary Magdalene was founded in 1274 on the ruins of a medieval fortress on the initiative of Atrani. Over time the church has undergone considerable restoration. In 1570, near collapse, funds were raised by special taxes on wheat and export of manufactured goods to restore the church. The building underwent a second operation almost a century later, in 1669. On that occasion it also repaired ...
Founded: 1274 | Location: Atrani, Italy

St. Nicholas' Church

The Church of St. Nicholas was first mentioned in 1220 and was expanded over time in the 14th century before taking its final shape in the year 1465. The architectural style is mainly Gothic. The church consists of three naves. It has well-preserved stain glass windows, and a large rose window over a pointed arched portal, a number of wooden sculptures of saints and paintings that date from different periods. Of particul ...
Founded: 1465 | Location: Meran, Italy

San Pietro di Castello

The present Basilica of San Pietro di Castello building dates from the 16th century, but a church has stood on the site since at least the 7th century. From 1451 to 1807, it was the city's cathedral church, though hardly playing the usual dominant role of a cathedral, as it was overshadowed by the 'state church' of San Marco, and inconveniently located. During its history the church has undergone a number of alterations ...
Founded: 7th century | Location: Venice, Italy

Sant'Agostino Church

The Gothic Church of Saint Augustine (Chiesa di Sant"Agostino) is located near the market of the Capo, in the quarter of the Seralcadio. The church is also called Santa Rita, because of the devotion to this Augustinian saint. The church was built during the Angevin period (13th century) replacing an earlier church that dated back to the Hauteville era. The building was subject to subsequent changes over the centur ...
Founded: 1275 | Location: Palermo, Italy

Basilica of San Simpliciano

The Basilica of San Simpliciano is the second oldest church in the form of a Latin cross, first erected by Saint Ambrose. It is dedicated to Saint Simplician, bishop of Milan. The site of the present church was occupied in the 3rd century AD by a pagan cemetery. There St. Ambrose began the construction of the Basilica Virginum ('Basilica of the Virgins'), which was finished by his successor Simplicianus ...
Founded: 3th century AD | Location: Milan, Italy

Sacro Monte di Varese

The Sacro Monte di Varese (literally ‘Sacred Mount of Varese’) is one of the nine sacri monti in the Italian regions of Lombardy and Piedmont which were inscribed on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. It has an altitude of 807 metres above sea-level. The Sacro Monte of Varese is located a few kilometers from the city and nestled in the regional park Campo dei Fiori. It consists of the Holy Road an ...
Founded: 1604 | Location: Varese, Italy

La Magione

The Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity, commonly known La Magione, is a Norman church of Palermo. It was completed in 1191 and is the last church built in the capital of the Norman Kingdom of Sicily during the period of the Hauteville dynasty. Its foundation is linked to the Chancellor of the Kingdom, Matthew of Ajello. Initially attributed to the Cistercians, during the period of the Hohenstaufen dynasty the church became ...
Founded: 1191 | Location: Palermo, Italy

Enna Cathedral

The Duomo (Cathedral) of Enna, a notable example of religious architecture in Sicily, was built in the 14th century by queen Eleonora, Frederick III"s wife. It was renovated and remodeled after the fire of 1446. The great Baroque facade, in yellow tufa-stone, is surmounted by a massive campanile with finely shaped decorative elements. The portal on the right side is from the 16th century, while the other is from the ...
Founded: 1446 | Location: Enna, Italy

Vicenza Cathedral

Vicenza Cathedral construction was begun in 1482, to plans by Lorenzo of Bologna, and completed in the 1560s. The cupola was planned by Andrea Palladio and probably the north doorway also. Only the original façade survived the bombing of World War II; the rest of the present building has been reconstructed. The belltower has five bells in the chord of Eb, the oldest one was cast in the 17th century.
Founded: 1482-1560 | Location: Vicenza, Italy

Saint Andrea Church

Saint Andrea church overlooks over the older part of Torbole. It was first mentioned in a document dated 1175. In 1183 the Pope Lucius III assigned it, together with the surrounding olive grove, to the Cistercian Abbey of Saint Lorenzo in Trento. In 1497 some of the properties of the Church were given for the support of a priest who would look after of the Torbole Community. In 1741 the curate of Torbole has been founded ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Nago-torbole, Italy

Santa Maria del Carmine Church

Santa Maria del Carmine is considered amongst the best examples of Lombard Gothic architecture. It was begun in 1374 by Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Duke of Milan, on a project attributed to Bernardo da Venezia. The construction followed a slow pace, and was restarted in 1432, being finished in 1461. Exterior The church has an imposing façade commanding the square with the same name; the slender forms betray a residual Rom ...
Founded: 1374-1461 | Location: Pavia, Italy

San Lorenzo Church

Under the Aosta old parish church, archaeological diggings brought to light the early Christian cruciform basilica, indicated as Concilium Sanctorum, the Assembly of Saints because it was built on the tombs of some of the early martyrs who were buried in the Roman cemetery area which in itself was built on a protohistoric funeral settlement.  Inside you can see parts of the liturgical structures, the relic platform wi ...
Founded: 5th century AD | Location: Aosta, Italy

San Michele Maggiore Church

The Basilica of San Michele Maggiore is one of the most striking example of Lombard-Romanesque style. It dates from the 11th and 12th centuries. A first church devoted to St. Michael Archangel was built on the location of the Lombard Palace chapel (to this period belongs the lower section of the bell tower), but it was destroyed by a fire in 1004. The current construction was begun in the late 11th century (crypt, choir ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Pavia, Italy

Santa Maria di Canepanova Church

Santa Maria di Canepanova is a Renaissance style Roman Catholic church located in central Pavia, region of Lombardy, Italy. Although in the past the design was popularly attributed to Bramante, the church was designed by Giovanni Antonio Amadeo. Church was built from 1500 to 1507 by Amadeo, who had previously built the tambour of the Milan Cathedral and had been invited by Cardinal Ascanio Sforza, brother of Duke Lud ...
Founded: 1500-1507 | Location: Pavia, Italy

San Michele al Pozzo Bianco

San Michele al Pozzo Bianco is a church in the upper town of Bergamo, on a small piazza of the same name, near Porta Sant’Agostino. The church is now in a corner next to the frescoed house of the vicar, entered by a large rounded arch. Founded in the 8th century, it was rebuilt many times over the centuries. The present facade is from the early 20th century. Much of the interior was rebuilt in the 15th century, and cov ...
Founded: 8th century AD | Location: Bergamo, Italy

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Luxembourg Palace

The famous Italian Medici family have given two queens to France: Catherine, the spouse of Henry II, and Marie, widow of Henry IV, who built the current Luxembourg palace. Maria di Medici had never been happy at the Louvre, still semi-medieval, where the fickle king, did not hesitate to receive his mistresses. The death of Henry IV, assassinated in 1610, left the way open for Marie's project. When she became regent, she was able to give special attention to the construction of an imposing modern residence that would be reminiscent of the Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens in Florence, where she grew up. The development of the 25-hectare park, which was to serve as a jewel-case for the palace, began immediately.

The architect, Salomon de Brosse, began the work in 1615. Only 16 years later was the palace was completed. Palace of Luxembourg affords a transition between the Renaissance and the Classical period.

In 1750, the Director of the King's Buildings installed in the wing the first public art-gallery in France, in which French and foreign canvases of the royal collections are shown. The Count of Provence and future Louis XVIII, who was living in Petit Luxembourg, had this gallery closed in 1780: leaving to emigrate, he fled from the palace in June 1791.

During the French Revolution the palace was first abandoned and then moved as a national prison. After that it was the seat of the French Directory, and in 1799, the home of the Sénat conservateur and the first residence of Napoleon Bonaparte, as First Consul of the French Republic. The old apartments of Maria di Medici were altered. The floor, which the 80 senators only occupied in 1804, was built in the middle of the present Conference Hall.

Beginning in 1835 the architect Alphonse de Gisors added a new garden wing parallel to the old corps de logis, replicating the look of the original 17th-century facade so precisely that it is difficult to distinguish at first glance the old from the new. The new senate chamber was located in what would have been the courtyard area in-between.

The new wing included a library (bibliothèque) with a cycle of paintings (1845–1847) by Eugène Delacroix. In the 1850s, at the request of Emperor Napoleon III, Gisors created the highly decorated Salle des Conférences, which influenced the nature of subsequent official interiors of the Second Empire, including those of the Palais Garnier.

During the German occupation of Paris (1940–1944), Hermann Göring took over the palace as the headquarters of the Luftwaffe in France, taking for himself a sumptuous suite of rooms to accommodate his visits to the French capital. Since 1958 the Luxembourg palace has been the seat of the French Senate of the Fifth Republic.