San Paolo Maggiore Basilica Bologna

The Basilica of San Paolo Maggiore is located near Bologna‘s central square, the Piazza Maggiore. This early 17th century church is also called San Paolo Decollato. It features artwork by famous artists such as Guercino and Ludovico Caracci.

San Paolo Maggiore Basilica Bologna

Address, opening hours and admission

Address: Via Carbonesi, 18 – 40123 Bologna. There is another entrance at Via Tagliapietre, 3. Tel: +39 051 331490. Admission: Free of charge. Opening hours: Unknown.

San Paolo Maggiore Basilica Bologna
San Paolo Maggiore

History and Description

The Basilica of San Paolo Maggiore was built by order of the monastic order of the Barnabites founded in Milan in 1530.

In the early 19th century, thisorder was suppressed by Napoleon. The church was rededicated in 1878, but not returned to the Barnabites until 1959.

The richly decorated vaults of the church were painted by Antonio and Giuseppe Rolli towards the end of the 17th century. The frescoes depict “St. Paul announcing the death and resurrection of Christ on Areopagus Hill in Athens”.

The altars of the church are graced by paintings by Guercino, Giuseppe Maria Crespi (nicknamed “lo Spagnolo”), and Ludovico Carracci.

Another highlight is the main altar with the sculpture group “Beheading of Saint Paul” created by Alessandro Algardi. Algardi was also responsible for the antependium and tabernacle.

San Paolo Maggiore Church, Bologna