The Basilica of Sant’Abbondio is a Romanesque church outside the city walls of Como, at the foot of the Monte Croce. The church, dedicated to the city’s patron saint, is considered an example of Romanesque Lombard architecture. The artistic highlight is the apse fresco by the Maestro di Sant’Abbondio.
Sant’Abbondio Basilica Como
Address: Via Regina Teodolinda, 35 – 22100 Como. Phone: +39 338 2583328. Opening times: From 08:00 till `18:00. Ticket price: Free. (Note that prices and times may be subject to change.)
History and description
Saint Abundius was the 4th bishop of Como and is the patron saint of the city. The basilica was built on top of an early Christian church, dedicated to the saints Peter and Paul.
This first church had been constructed by order of Sant’Amanzio, who had been the 3rd bishop of the city. Saint Abundius had been buried inside this church since the 5th century.
Construction of the new church started in 1010. The work was done for a group of Benedictine monks sent here by bishop Alberico. The new church ended up being consecrated in 1095.
The construction and decorative work was carried out by early medieval Lombard stonemasons known as Comacine masters (maestri Comacini).
In the 16th century, several renovations were carried. However, these were all undone again three cneturies later.
In 1968, the city acquired the cloister and made it into the seat of the department of law of teh University of Insubria.
What to see
The facade is divided into 5 sections, corresponding to the naves. The portal is decorated with multiple basreliefs. The two campaniles are placed in an unusual position, halfway down the length of the church.
Maestro di Sant’Abbondio apse frescoes
The apse is decorated with a fresco cycle by a 14th century artist known as the Maestro di Sant’Abbondio. The cycle consists of 40 scenes from the life of Christ and was painted around 1315.