The Santa Caterina Church in Padua was originally built in the 12th century. The current church is the result of a 17th century reconstruction, however.
Santa Caterina Church Padua
Address: Via Cesare Battisti, 245 – Padova. Phone: (+39) 049 8764688.
History and description
The Chiesa di Santa Caterina is dedicated to the saint from Alessandria in Egypt, who is also the patron saint of the University of Padua. Santa Caterina was particularly popular during the Middle Ages with female ecclesiastical orders dedicated to knowledge and culture.
The symbols of the university are still those of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, the palm tree, the crown and the wheel. This latter refers to the wheel she was martyred on and which also made her patron saint of carriage drivers and millers.
The Santa Caterina Church was built in the 12th century. Toward the end of the 14th century a university college was built next-door. In 1610 the church was given to the Augustine Order, which occupied itself with giving aid to impoverished women.
In the 17th century, the church got a Baroque facelift. The richly decorated altar was added and decorated with statues attributed to Bonazza.
The altarpiece depicting the “Wedding of St. Catherine” is by Marcantonio Bonaccorsi.
The frescoes adorning the walls are left-overs from the early version of the church.
In 1770, the violinist Giuseppe Tartini and his wife were buried in the church.
The organ dates back to the 18th century. Till 1844, it was kept in the San Paolo Church, where millers used to go for their religious services.
The Santa Caterina Church was last restored in 1976, after damage caused by an earthquake.