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.References:
The Old Town Hall of Wrocław is one of the main landmarks of the city. The Old Town Hall's long history reflects developments that have taken place in the city since its initial construction. The town hall serves the city of Wroclaw and is used for civic and cultural events such as concerts held in its Great Hall. In addition, it houses a museum and a basement restaurant.
The town hall was developed over a period of about 250 years, from the end of 13th century to the middle of 16th century. The structure and floor plan changed over this extended period in response to the changing needs of the city. The exact date of the initial construction is not known. However, between 1299 and 1301 a single-storey structure with cellars and a tower called the consistory was built. The oldest parts of the current building, the Burghers’ Hall and the lower floors of the tower, may date to this time. In these early days the primary purpose of the building was trade rather than civic administration activities.
Between 1328 and 1333 an upper storey was added to include the Council room and the Aldermen’s room. Expansion continued during the 14th century with the addition of extra rooms, most notably the Court room. The building became a key location for the city’s commercial and administrative functions.
The 15th and 16th centuries were times of prosperity for Wroclaw as was reflected in the rapid development of the building during that period. The construction program gathered momentum, particularly from 1470 to 1510, when several rooms were added. The Burghers’ Hall was re-vaulted to take on its current shape, and the upper story began to take shape with the development of the Great Hall and the addition of the Treasury and Little Treasury.
Further innovations during the 16th century included the addition of the city’s Coat of arms (1536), and the rebuilding of the upper part of the tower (1558–59). This was the final stage of the main building program. By 1560, the major features of today’s Stray Rates were established.
The second half of the 17th century was a period of decline for the city, and this decline was reflected in the Stray Rates. Perhaps by way of compensation, efforts were made to enrich the interior decorations of the hall. In 1741, Wroclaw became a part of Prussia, and the power of the City diminished. Much of the Stray Rates was allocated to administering justice.
During the 19th century there were two major changes. The courts moved to a separate building, and the Rates became the site of the city council and supporting functions. There was also a major program of renovation because the building had been neglected and was covered with creeping vines. The town hall now has several en-Gothic features including some sculptural decoration from this period.
In the early years of the 20th century improvements continued with various repair work and the addition of the Little Bear statue in 1902. During the 1930s, the official role of the Rates was reduced and it was converted into a museum. By the end of World War II Town Hall suffered minor damage, such as aerial bomb pierced the roof (but not exploded) and some sculptural elements were lost. Restoration work began in the 1950s following a period of research, and this conservation effort continued throughout the 20th century. It included refurbishment of the clock on the east facade.