Padua Cathedral

Padua, Italy

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 the work of Andrea della Valle and Agostino Righetto, and has much in common with earlier Paduan churches. Although construction work began on the new Renaissance building in 1551, it was only completed in 1754, leaving the façade unfinished.


The Basilica stands between the Episcopal palace and the Baptistery. It is a Latin cross with three bays and an octagonal dome. The dome of the Glory covered in lead. Two sacristies adjoin the presbytery, one for the Canons and the other for the Prebendati. Between the Prebendati sacristy and the transept is the bell tower. The side doors open a small courtyard for the presbytery and on the Via Duomo, by the carriage entrance to the Episcopal palace. On the bell tower is a plaque from the Roman era that mentions the Gens Fabia of Veio, a title in the history of Padua from 49 B.C.

The unfinished facade The facade onto which open the three portals and incomplete. According to the plans of Gerolamo Frigimelica and Preti would have had to open an airy atrium of access and on the upper floor, a solemn loggia, in the style of the Roman basilicas; in facade a great classic pediment supported by six mighty semi columns of the Corinthian order. Second architect to connect atrium, the loggia and the episcopal palace, would open a ramp covered, on the right, which was left unfinished. During the First World War a bomb hits the upper part of the facade. A small rose opening was created during the restoration.


The nave is flanked by an aisle on each side. The aisles are harmoniously matched with the nave. The central nave has two large elliptical domes, matched to the chapels of St. Gregory Barbarigo and San Lorenzo Giustiniani. A large circular dome rises over the crossing. Chapels line the side aisles. Under the presbytery, the crypt is the Chapel of Santa Cross.



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Founded: 1551
Category: Religious sites in Italy

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User Reviews

Vinoj Habarakada (18 days ago)
A very significant and a sacred relic. This place will be worth a detour from Venice. You will discover so many things! The atmosphere is so calming and it's definitely worth a visit!!
Simeon Davidson (2 months ago)
Cathedral itself is fairly austere but grand, but beautiful modern sculptural altar pieces. Baptistery is exquisite and rivals the Scrovegni Chapel in detail.
Karin S. (2 months ago)
Padua Cathedral, or Basilica Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption (Italian: Duomo di Padova; Basilica Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta), is a Catholic church and minor basilica located on the east end of Piazza Duomo, adjacent to the bishop's palace in Padua, Veneto, Italy. Outside rather nothing special and you could avoid going in. But inside you detect many beautiful and charming objects and sceneries.
Albin Sebastian (4 months ago)
The Cathedral stands on the site of previous sacred buildings of which the oldest, an early Christian cathedral, probably stood on the current churchyard. The new cathedral consecrated in 1075 by Bishop Ulderico was damaged a few years later in the earthquake of 1117. The construction of the current Cathedral was completed between the 16th and 18th centuries. The winner of the competition that had been announced was Michelangelo, but the execution of the works was entrusted to the Istrian architect Andrea da Valle and the architect Agostino Righetti who made substantial changes to the original project. The Cathedral was completed only in 1754 by the Venetian architect Girolamo Frigimelica, although the grandiose façade, with three portals and two rose windows, designed by him, was never finished and was later seriously damaged, together with the large dome, in the bombings of 1917 and 1918.
Zongle (4 months ago)
While the cathedral may not make a striking impression from the exterior, its interior exudes elegance. The baptistery, in particular, is a hidden gem adorned with original frescoes dating back to the 14th century, revealing a rich tapestry of historical artistry.
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