Lodi Cathedral is one of the largest churches in northern Italy. The cathedral was founded in 1158, the day on which Lodi was refounded after its destruction by the Milanese troops in 1111. The first phase of construction ended in 1163. The crypt was inaugurated with the translation of the relics of Saint Bassianus on 4 November 1163, in the presence of emperor Frederick I Barbarossa.
The second phase was carried on from 1170 to 1180, although the façade was completed only in 1284. Later, 18th century restorations altered the appearance of the building, which was however brought back to the original one in 1958–1965.
The façade, in brickwork, is asymmetrical and is in a typical Romanesque style, with the exception of the large Gothic entrance portico supported by small columns with lion sculptures at the base. Other features include the large central rose window and two Renaissance double mullioned windows, similar to those designed by the school of Giovanni Antonio Amadeo for the Certosa di Pavia. There is also a niche housing the bronze statue of Saint Bassianus, a copy of the 1284 original in gilded copper, now inside the cathedral. The massive bell tower, built in 1538–1554 to a design by Callisto Piazza, remained unfinished for military reasons.
The interior has a nave and two aisles, all cross vaulted, separated by cylindrical pilasters in brickwork. Artworks include a polyptych by Callisto Piazza depicting the Massacre of the Innocents, another polyptych by Albertino Piazza with the Virgin in Heaven and a 15th century Universal Judgement. Finally, the large apse is decorated by a mosaic executed by Aligi Sassu.
Between the church and the adjoining Bishop's Palace (Palazzo Vescovile), is a court including what remains of the 1484 cloister, designed by Giovanni Battagio and featuring brickwork columns and decorations. The complex also houses the Diocesan Museum of Holy Art.
The crypt, whose entrance features a 12th-century bas-relief, is the oldest section of the cathedral. Originally the pavement was 65 cm higher and the vaults were supported by brickwork pilasters. In its center is the altar (1856), which houses the remains of Saint Bassianus in a silver case, featuring the work of modern artists such as Giosuè Argenti and Tilio Nani. On the left of the high altar is the altar of Saint Alberto Quadrelli, bishop of Lodi from 1168 to 1173.
In the northern aisle is a 15th-century sculpture group portraying the Dead Christ.References:
The Palazzo Colonna is a palatial block of buildings built in part over ruins of an old Roman Serapeum, and has belonged to the prestigious Colonna family for over twenty generations.
The first part of the palace dates from the 13th century, and tradition holds that the building hosted Dante in his visit to Rome. The first documentary mention notes that the property hosted Cardinal Giovanni and Giacomo Colonna in the 13th century. It was also home to Cardinal Oddone Colonna before he ascended to the papacy as Martin V (1417–1431).
With his passing, the palace was sacked during feuds, and the main property passed into the hands of the Della Rovere family. It returned to the Colonna family when Marcantonio I Colonna married Lucrezia Gara Franciotti Della Rovere, the niece of pope Julius II. The Colonna"s alliance to the Habsburg power, likely protected the palace from looting during the Sack of Rome (1527).
Starting with Filippo Colonna (1578–1639) many changes have refurbished and create a unitary complex around a central garden. Architects including Girolamo Rainaldi and Paolo Marucelli labored on specific projects. Only in the 17th and 18th centuries were the main facades completed. Much of this design was completed by Antonio del Grande (including the grand gallery), and Girolamo Fontana (decoration of gallery). In the 18th century, the long low facade designed by Nicola Michetti with later additions by Paolo Posi with taller corner blocks (facing Piazza Apostoli) was constructed recalls earlier structures resembling a fortification.
The main gallery (completed 1703) and the masterful Colonna art collection was acquired after 1650 by both the cardinal Girolamo I Colonna and his nephew the Connestabile Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna and includes works by Lorenzo Monaco, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Palma the Elder, Salviati, Bronzino, Tintoretto, Pietro da Cortona, Annibale Carracci (painting of The Beaneater), Guercino, Francesco Albani, Muziano and Guido Reni. Ceiling frescoes by Filippo Gherardi, Giovanni Coli, Sebastiano Ricci, and Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari celebrate the role of Marcantonio II Colonna in the battle of Lepanto (1571). The gallery is open to the public on Saturday mornings.
The older wing of the complex known as the Princess Isabelle"s apartments, but once housing Martin V"s library and palace, contains frescoes by Pinturicchio, Antonio Tempesta, Crescenzio Onofri, Giacinto Gimignani, and Carlo Cesi. It contains a collection of landscapes and genre scenes by painters like Gaspard Dughet, Caspar Van Wittel (Vanvitelli), and Jan Brueghel the Elder.
Along with the possessions of the Doria-Pamphilij and Pallavacini-Rospigliosi families, this is one of the largest private art collections in Rome.