Italy Basilica Di San Domenico

21 images 1 contributors Shoot with care

Sue Wolfe

Shoot with care
This is a place of worship so dress appropriately—knees and shoulders need to be covered.

About this spot
Dominic de Guzmàn, or St. Dominic was the founder of the Dominican Order. He was born in Spain but eventually made his way to a small church at the outskirts of Bologna in 1220. After his death in 1221, the Dominicans bought all the surrounding plots of land, and the church was expanded with a new monastic complex.

In 1233, the remains of St. Dominic were moved to a simple sarcophagus within the Basilica. However, so many pilgrims visited the tomb that plans were made for a much larger monument. Nicola Pisano started work on the new tomb in 1265. The tomb was once again relocated in 1411 and sculptors led by Niccolò dell’Arca added a crowning to the flat top of the sarcophagus. You can find the chapel halfway down the Basilica on the right. With construction of the Arca di San Domenico spanning several hundred years, various artists worked on the project including a young Michelangelo. The Basilica is still the last stop of the Dominican Camino which begins in the saint’s hometown of Caleruega, Spain.

Rosary Chapel is the largest chapel on the left side of the nave. The two main frescoes (the Assumption and Heaven and Earth Praising the Madonna) were painted by Colonna and Mitelli. The chapel also contains 15 paintings that surround the statue of the Virgin and represent the Mysteries of the Rosary.

Many of the side chapels were built in the 15th century and contain art treasures created by some of Italy’s greatest artists.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart played the organ in this church while studying under Padre Martini in 1769. On display is the score to No. 134 written by Mozart. The organ dates back to 1759.

In the church’s piazza are the tombs of law scholars Rolandino de’ Passaggeri and Egidio Foscherari, as well as statues of St. Dominic and the Madonna.

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