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, 9 – Bologna. Phone: (+39) 051 222112. Opening times: From 07:00 to 19:30. Ticket price: free.
History and description
The history of Bologna Cathedral dates back to the beginning of the Christian era, although the first documents referring to the church date from 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 some alterations.
The bell tower actually consists of two towers, built in different eras. The first one dates back to the 10th century. The second one was built around the first one, in the 13th century. The tower is 70 meters tall, making it the second tallest in the city. The bell of this bell tower weighs 3300 pounds. From the bell tower one has a nice view of the city and its surroundings.
The addition “metropolitana” was given to the church in 1582, by order of Pope Gregory XIII. At the same time, the bishop of Bologna was promoted to archbishop.
In 1605, the San Pietro Cathedral received its present form. The architects Floriano Ambrosini, Alfonso Torreggiani and Cosimo Morelli carried out a major restoration, getting rid of all traces of the primitive Romanesque-Gothic construction.
Commissioned by Pope Benedict XIV, a native of Bologna, the cathedral received a new façade 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, flanked by the Madonna and San Giovanni Evangelista, was made in the 12th century.
Other paintings in the church were done by Prospero Fontana (1579), Marcantonio Franceschini (1728) and Donato Creti (1740), among others.
Alfonso Lombardi sculpted the “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.