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Old March 26th, 2019, 01:22 AM   #41
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Old March 26th, 2019, 01:25 AM   #42
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I decide to first take a stroll along Via dell’Independenza and see what looks like, before coming back to explore the squares and the surrounding area. The street was opened in 1890, when Bologna became an important railway junction with the completion of the Bologna-Ancona and Bologna-Florence lines. Today it’s the city’s main shopping district, dotted with dozens of clothing stores, and like Via Ugo Bassi, is also pedestrianized on weekends, allowing me to admire hassle-free the buildings lining it.

On the right rises the imposing Metropolitan Cathedral of San Pietro, while the large red building facing it is the former Palazzo del Seminario, built in the 13th century as the seat of the Archbishop's Seminary, and transformed in 1912 into a hotel, Grand Hotel Majestic (formerly Baglioni), that is still the most prestigious in Bologna and where all the celebrities who visit the city stay:

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Old March 26th, 2019, 01:27 AM   #43
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I take a closer look at the Cathedral. The first church was built on that spot between the 10th and 11th centuries, next to an early Christian bell tower of the Ravenna type (with an elliptical base and round top) and an octagonal baptistery. Over the centuries, it was damaged several times (by a fire, then an earthquake, then invasive modifications) and rebuilt and enlarged every time, until being finally rebuilt at the beginning of the 17th century in Baroque style, having in the meantime been elevated to the status of Metropolitan Church.

The façade is typically Baroque, built in red brick masonry with marble decorations, and divided into two orders (parts) by a cornice. The lower part is divided by Corinthian pilasters into five sections, of which the three central ones have portals. The central portal is the largest, and surmounted by a pediment containing the coat of arms of Pope Benedict XIV:

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Old March 26th, 2019, 01:28 AM   #44
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On the edges of the cornice stand two huge sculptures of San Pietro (St Peter) and San Paolo (St Paul), on the left and the right respectively, completed in 1750. The impressive façade gives me high expectations of the interior, and I feel excited as I pass the main door:

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Old March 26th, 2019, 12:01 PM   #45
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The interior, almost completely restored in the 18th century in Baroque style, is enclosed by a barrel vault, illuminated by seven large windows, and features a floor richly decorated with polychrome marble:

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Old March 26th, 2019, 12:02 PM   #46
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The presbytery is separated from the nave by a colossal triumphal arch, above which two angels hold the coat of arms of Pope Gregory XV:

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Old March 26th, 2019, 12:04 PM   #47
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There are five side chapels on each side in the nave, with altarpieces ornamented with colorful marble columns, stucco and paintings. The first chapel in the right aisle shows the “Episcopal Consecration of Niccolo Albergati”, and in front of it is placed the 16th-century terracotta sculptural group of the Lamentation Over the Dead Christ:

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Old March 26th, 2019, 12:06 PM   #48
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The second one, called the Chapel of Saint Anne, features a perspective in polychrome marble with a small frescoed dome, surrounding a small temple in gilded copper and colorful enamels, donated by the King of England Henry IV, and containing the relics of Saint Anne:

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Old March 26th, 2019, 12:08 PM   #49
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The third chapel is surmounted by a large vault with an impressive stucco decoration:

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Old March 26th, 2019, 12:09 PM   #50
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It houses the altarpiece “Sant’ Apollinare Being Consecrated Bishop of San Pietro”:

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Old March 26th, 2019, 12:10 PM   #51
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Facing it in the left aisle is the Chapel of the Saint Sacrament, surmounted by a vault in the same style:

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Old March 26th, 2019, 12:14 PM   #52
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Its altarpiece depicts Saint Ignatius of Loyola with the Virgin and the Child:

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Old March 26th, 2019, 12:15 PM   #53
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The last chapel of the right aisle is the Chapel of San Carlo Borromeo, with its altarpiece showing San Carlo Distributing Alms:

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Old March 26th, 2019, 06:16 PM   #54
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wow! extraordinarily beautiful.. I was truly amazed at those medieval churches and other
structures and they're well preserved (page 1).
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Old March 26th, 2019, 08:20 PM   #55
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There are more pictures coming of the San Petronio Basilica and other medieval structures (palaces and towers) in the next pages as well, stay tuned!
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Old March 26th, 2019, 08:26 PM   #56
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I take a closer look at the presbytery, raised above the rest of the church, and I’m dazzled at the level of detail in the carvings and stuccoes of the cross vault above it, and on the underside of the triumphal arch. The vault is also richly adorned with frescoes, including a 17th-century Annunciation of Mary in the lunette:

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Old March 26th, 2019, 08:28 PM   #57
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The main altar in polychrome marble is surmounted by a valuable Romanesque Crucifixion piece in cedar wood from the 12th century, consisting of Jesus on the cross flanked by Mary Magdalene and John the Evangelist:

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Old March 26th, 2019, 08:32 PM   #58
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Like the church, the bell tower is a masterpiece of Baroque architecture. Reaching a height of 70 meters and having a square base, it was completed in 1227, and later crowned with a wooden cusp covered in lead that was rebuilt in masonry two centuries later. The Paleochristian bell tower with an elliptical base and round top was never demolished, and can still be admired inside the new one that was built around it:



The building in the back is the archbishop's palace. Built around 1293, it is notable for having the highest portico of the city, with a loggia that reaches 10 meters in height.
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Old March 26th, 2019, 08:35 PM   #59
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The belfry, illuminated by a four-light window on each side, houses a bell called La Nonna ("The Grandmother") cast in 1594, which at 3300 kg is the largest bell that can be played by the Bolognese method of bell-ringing. Such is its weight that La Nonna is often left propped up with the mouth upwards, and only rarely are all four bells of the tower (totaling 6500 kg) played together, which requires a team of 23 bell ringers:

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Old March 26th, 2019, 10:50 PM   #60
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Great, very nice updates; well done. Keep them coming, cat
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