Santa Sofia Church

Padua, Italy

anta Sofia in Padua is the oldest church structure in the city. It was built in the 10th century on the site of a presumed Roman Mithraeum. The first document dates from 1123.

The apse was the first phase of the construction, sometime in the ninth century. Primary construction was between 1070 and 1080. This phase ended in 1106. The second phase opened in 1117 and ended in about 1170. The structure underwent embellishment near the end of the fourteenth century to meet the liturgical reforms approved by the Council of Trent. The seventeen-year-old Andrea Mantegna performs his first independent work, an altarpiece depicting the Madonna with Child in conversation with saints.

Initially operated by Augustinians monks, Benedictine nuns replace them by 1517. In the sixteenth century Santa Sofia was a parish church. It became a provostry, which depended the church of San Gaetano, the church of Paolotti, Matthias Church and the church of San Biagio. As a result of the Napoleonic laws the nuns were removed (1806-1810), the convent became state ownership.

Between 1951 and 1958, the structure has undergone major restoration work with intent to restore primitive appearance of the church. With these works is lost most of the heritage Mannerist and Baroque kept in the factory.



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Via Altinate 153, Padua, Italy
See all sites in Padua


Founded: 10th century
Category: Religious sites in Italy

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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Alberto Scarpis (20 months ago)
La più bella chiesa di Padova, ideale per una sosta rinfrancante
Ezio Pillan (23 months ago)
Chiesa molto bella di interesse storico, dispone di una buona acustica che permette di ascoltare corali o concerti percependo in maniera ottimale le sfumature di esecuzione. Da visitare!
Paolo Lombardo (2 years ago)
Antica chiesa con pochi affreschi con imponenti colonne e volte in mattoni. È la più antica chiesa di Padova, nata sulle fondamenta di un tempio del 1000 a.c nel 1050 d.c. venne riadattata a chiesa. Oggi è guidata da un valente parroco nonostante la sua infermità.
emdjed islem (3 years ago)
One of the old church in padova, built with Roman brick ! I was visiting also the subsoil, very amazing the structure.
John Murphy (3 years ago)
Historic church with ancient crypt. Have a look at the front of the church to see how much it leans!
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