Religious sites in Italy

Sant'Orsola Church

Sant"Orsola Church was built for the 'Compagnia di Sant"Orsola' (Brotherhood of Saint Ursula), a group of believers which was founded in 1564 in the neighbouring church of Santi Quaranta Martiri Pisani al Casalotto. The church was open to the public in 1662. The nave, and maybe the entire building, was designed by Giacomo Amato. In 1672 a beautification work started. During this period the building ...
Founded: 1662 | Location: Palermo, Italy

Church of the Hermits

The Church of the Eremitani, or Church of the Hermits, is an Augustinian church of the 13th century. It was built in 1276 and dedicated to the saints Philip and James; it is however best known as degli Eremitani from the annexed old monastery, which now houses the municipal art gallery. The chapel of SS. James and Christopher (Ovetari Chapel), formerly illustrated by Mantegna"s frescoes, was largely destroyed by the ...
Founded: 1276 | Location: Padua, Italy

Monastery of San Nicolò l'Arena

The Benedictine Monastery of San Nicolò l"Arena in Catania, Sicily, is one of the largest monasteries in Europe and the second biggest Benedictine monastery in Europe. The monastery was founded in 1558 and today it hosts the Department of Humanities of the University of Catania. The monastery complex is located in the historical centre of the city of Catania, with the church of San Nicolò l"Arena. It shows a ...
Founded: 1558 | Location: Catania, Italy

San Sebastiano Church

The Church of San Sebastiano dates from the 16th century and is located in Piazza Garibaldi, in front of the Cathedral. It was built as a tribute to said Saint by the people in gratitude for deliverance from the plague. In 1711 it was altered along its whole length to make space for the Piazza Garibaldi. As a result, a new façade was designed by Pasquale Saetta in the late 19th century. It is embellished with columns e ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Caltanissetta, Italy

San Giuseppe Church

San Giuseppe church was erected in 1756-1796 under the patronage of the Benedictine order. The church and an adjacent convent of nuns occupied a site where prior to the 1693 earthquake had been located the church of San Tommaso. The architect is unknown, but in the circle of Rosario Gagliardi. Like many local churches, the façade has three highly sculpted order, decorated with statues of Saints of the Benedictine orders, ...
Founded: 1756-1796 | Location: Ragusa, Italy

Treviso Cathedral

Treviso Cathedral originates from the 6th century and stands in an area where during the Ancient Roman period there were a temple, a theatre and possibly some baths. In the 11th-12th centuries the church was remodelled in Romanesque style. In 1768 it was demolished and rebuilt in Neoclassical style, only the crypt remaining from the previous edifice. The current façade dates from 1836. Treviso Cathedral was involved in t ...
Founded: 1768 | Location: Treviso, Italy

Church of the Santissima Annunziata dei Catalani

The Church of the Santissima Annunziata dei Catalani is an example of Norman architecture on Sicily. It dates from the 12th century, when Sicily was under Norman rule. Built on top of the ruins of an older temple dedicated to Neptune, the church is an example of Sicilian Norman architecture with its mix of different cultural elements. The church displays influences from Arab and Byzantine architecture and also conta ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Messina, Italy

Certosa di Pavia

The Certosa di Pavia is a monastery complex built in 1396-1495. It was once located on the border of a large hunting park belonging to the Visconti family of Milan, of which today only scattered parts remain. It is one of the largest monasteries in Italy. Certosa is the Italian name for a house of the cloistered monastic order of Carthusians founded by St. Bruno in 1044 at Grande Chartreuse. Though the Carthu ...
Founded: 1396-1495 | Location: Certosa di Pavia, Italy

San Nazaro in Brolo

San Nazaro in Brolo church was built by St. Ambrose starting from 382 on the road that connected Milan (then Mediolanum) to Rome. It was originally dedicated to the Apostles, and thus known as Basilica Apostolorum. As explained by an inscription in the church written by Ambrose himself, the church"s plan was on the Greek Cross with apses on the arms, a feature present only in the Church of the Holy Apostles i ...
Founded: 382 AD | Location: Milan, Italy

Sant'Eufemia Church

The church of Sant"Eufemia is an ancient church in Verona. A church at the site was likely present by the 11th or 12th centuries, although the main layout we see today was completed only in the 14th century. In the interior, altarpieces were completed by Brusasorci and Giovanni Domenico Cignaroli. In the 14th century Spolverini chapel, there is a canvas and frescos by Giovanni Francesco Caroto. The gothic belltower c ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Verona, Italy

Duomo of San Giorgio

The Duomo of San Giorgio is a Baroque church located in Modica. The building is the final result of the eighteenth century reconstruction, which took place following the disastrous earthquakes that struck Modica in 1542, in 1613 and in 1693. The reconstruction started in 1702, and ended in 1738. Further works were made until the affixing of the iron cross on the spire in 1842, which marked the definitive appearance of th ...
Founded: 1702 | Location: Modica, Italy

Chiavari Cathedral

Chiavari Cathedral was built in 1610-1613 and it was given to Carmelites. The latest appearance dates from the 19th and early 20th century.
Founded: 1610-1613 | Location: Chiavari, Italy

Monza Cathedral

Monza Cathedral (Duomo di Monza) is not in fact a cathedral, as Monza has always been part of the Diocese of Milan, but is in the charge of an archpriest who has the right to certain episcopal vestments including the mitre and the ring. The basilica, which would in essence have been complete by 603, is believed to have been commissioned towards the end of the sixth century by the Lombard Queen of Italy, Theode ...
Founded: 1300 | Location: Monza, Italy

Pavia Cathedral

Pavia Cathedral is the largest in the city and seat of the Diocese of Pavia. The construction was begun in the 15th century on the site of two pre-existing Romanesque, 'twin' cathedrals (Santo Stefano and Santa Maria del Popolo). The marble facing of the exterior was never completed. Until recently, next to the cathedral stood the Civic Tower (Torre Civica), known in 1330 and enlarged in 1583. It collapsed o ...
Founded: 1488 | Location: Pavia, Italy

Il Redentore

The Non Basilica del Santissimo Redentore, commonly known as Il Redentore, dominates the skyline of the island of Giudecca. It was built as a votive church in thanksgiving for deliverance from a major outbreak of the plague that decimated Venice between 1575 and 1576, in which some 46,000 people (25–30% of the population) died. The Senate of the Republic of Venice commissioned the architect Andrea Palladio to design t ...
Founded: 1577-1592 | Location: Venice, Italy

Santa Maria Maggiore Church

The Church of Santa Maria Maggiore is an important place of worship in the city of Trento, and the site of the Third Session of the Council of Trent. Traditionally, the foundation of the church was attributed to St. Vigilius, the third Bishop of Trento, in the late fourth of early fifth century. In the Roman period, there were public buildings, including a public baths, on the site where the church was later built. The ...
Founded: 1520 | Location: Trento, Italy

Santa Teresa alla Kalsa Church

The Church of Saint Teresa is located in the quarter of the Kalsa, within the historic centre of Palermo. The church was designed by the palermitan architect Giacomo Amato and was built between 1686 and 1700. It was decorated with works of important artists like Ignazio Marabitti, Guglielmo Borremans, Sebastiano Conca, Giovanni Odazzi, Giuseppe Serpotta and Procopio Serpotta.
Founded: 1686-1700 | Location: Palermo, Italy

San Fruttuoso abbey

The Abbey of San Fruttuoso is on the Italian Riviera between Camogli and Portofino. The abbey is located in a small bay beneath a steep wooded hill. It can only be reached by sea or by hiking trails, there is no road access. The abbey is dedicated to Saint Fructuosus, a third-century bishop of Tarraco (now Tarragona in north-east Spain) who was martyred under the persecutions of the Roman Emperor Valerian. In the eighth ...
Founded: 10th century AD | Location: San Fruttuoso, Italy

Caltanissetta Cathedral

The Cathedral of Santa Maria la Nova, built between the years 1560–1620, was opened to the public in 1622. The façade was only completed in the year 1840. The church has a late-Renaissance appearance that breaks the characteristic Baroque mold usual to Sicily. The interior features frescoes by Guglielmo Borremans, who worked there from 1722. Other works include a wooden Blessed Virgin draped with silver lamina (1 ...
Founded: 1560 | Location: Caltanissetta, Italy

Santo Stefano al Monte Celio

The Basilica of St. Stephen in the Round on the Celian Hill (Basilica di Santo Stefano al Monte Celio), commonly named Santo Stefano Rotondo, is Hungary"s 'national church' in Rome. It is dedicated to both Saint Stephen, the Christian first martyr, and Stephen I, the sanctified first king of Hungary who imposed Christianity on his subjects. The earliest church was consecrated by Pope Simplicius between 468 ...
Founded: 468-483 | Location: Rome, Italy

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Derbent Fortress

Derbent is the southernmost city in Russia, occupying the narrow gateway between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Mountains connecting the Eurasian steppes to the north and the Iranian Plateau to the south. Derbent claims to be the oldest city in Russia with historical documentation dating to the 8th century BCE. Due to its strategic location, over the course of history, the city changed ownership many times, particularly among the Persian, Arab, Mongol, Timurid, Shirvan and Iranian kingdoms.

Derbent has archaeological structures over 5,000 years old. As a result of this geographic peculiarity, the city developed between two walls, stretching from the mountains to the sea. These fortifications were continuously employed for a millennium and a half, longer than any other extant fortress in the world.

A traditionally and historically Iranian city, the first intensive settlement in the Derbent area dates from the 8th century BC. The site was intermittently controlled by the Persian monarchs, starting from the 6th century BC. Until the 4th century AD, it was part of Caucasian Albania which was a satrap of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. In the 5th century Derbent functioned as a border fortress and the seat of Sassanid Persians. Because of its strategic position on the northern branch of the Silk Route, the fortress was contested by the Khazars in the course of the Khazar-Arab Wars. In 654, Derbent was captured by the Arabs.

The Sassanid fortress does not exist any more, as the famous Derbent fortress as it stands today was built from the 12th century onward. Derbent became a strong military outpost and harbour of the Sassanid empire. During the 5th and 6th centuries, Derbent also became an important center for spreading the Christian faith in the Caucasus.

The site continued to be of great strategic importance until the 19th century. Today the fortifications consist of two parallel defence walls and Naryn-Kala Citadel. The walls are 3.6km long, stretching from the sea up to the mountains. They were built from stone and had 73 defence towers. 9 out of the 14 original gates remain.

In Naryn-Kala Citadel most of the old buildings, including a palace and a church, are now in ruins. It also holds baths and one of the oldest mosques in the former USSR.

In 2003, UNESCO included the old part of Derbent with traditional buildings in the World Heritage List.