The San Pietro Church is the Cathedral of Bologna. The official name of this church is Cattedrale Metropolitana di San Pietro. The bell tower consists of two towers built around each other. The highlight is the sculpture group “Mourning for the Death of Christ.”
San Pietro Cathedral Bologna
Address: Via dell’Indipendenza, 7 – 40125 Bologna. Tel: +39 051222112. Opening hours: From 07:00 to 19:30. Entrance fee: Free of charge. (Note that opening times and admission may be subject to change.)
History and description
The history of Bologna Cathedral dates back to the beginning of the Christian era, although the earliest documents mentioning it date back to the 10th century. A fire in 1131 and an earthquake in 1222 caused much damage to the church, but both times it was restored, with the necessary changes.
The bell tower actually consists of two towers, built in different eras. The first dates back to the 10th century, while the second one was built around the first in the 13th century. The tower is 70 meters high, making it the second tallest in the city. The bell of this campanile weighs 3,300 kilos. From here one has a beautiful view of the city and its surroundings.
The addition “metropolitana” was given to the church in 1582, by order of Pope Gregory XIII. Simultaneously, the bishop of Bologna was promoted to archbishop.
In 1605, the San Pietro Cathedral received its current form. The architects Floriano Ambrosini, Alfonso Torreggiani and Cosimo Morelli carried out an extensive restoration, which however lost all traces of the primitive Romanesque-Gothic construction.
By order of Pope Benedict XIV, who was from Bologna himself, the cathedral received a new facade between 1743 and 1754.
What to see
The lunette of the main altar is graced by an “Annunciation of the Lord” painted in 1618 by Ludovico Caracci. The wooden crucifix on this altar, with the Madonna and San Giovanni Evangelista on either side, was made in the 12th century.
Other paintings in the church were made by Prospero Fontana (1579), Marcantonio Franceschini (1728) and Donato Creti (1740), among others.
Alfonso Lombardi created the sculpture “Mourning for the Death of Christ” between 1522 and 1527.
The cathedral’s treasury contains liturgical writings, garments and other objects from the 14th century.