Parma Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Parma, Emilia-Romagna, dedicated to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is the episcopal seat of the Diocese of Parma, it is an important Italian Romanesque cathedral: the dome, in particular, is decorated by a influential illusionistic fresco by Renaissance painter Antonio da Correggio. The construction was begun in 1059 by bishop Cadalo antipope with the name of Honorius II, was consecrated by Paschal II in 1106. A basilica existed in the 6th century, but was abandoned; the new church was damaged by an earthquake in 1117 and had to be restored. Of the original building, remains can be seen in the presbytery, the transept, the choir and the apses, in some sculpture fragments; the wide façade was completed in 1178: it has three loggia floors and three portals, whose doors were sculpted by Luchino Bianchino in 1494. Between the central and the right doors is the tomb of the mathematician Biagio Pelacani, who died in 1416; the Gothic belfry was added in 1284-1294: a twin construction on the left side had been conceived, but it was never begun.
Beside the Cathedral lies the octagonal Baptistery of Parma. The interior has a Latin cross plan, with two aisles divided by pilasters; the presbytery and the transept are elevated. The latter houses fragments of ancient mosaics which show the presence here of a cult temple from at least in the 3rd or 4th century AD; the side chapels were built to house the sepulchers of the noble families of Parma: two of them, the Valeri Chapel and the Commune Chapel, have maintained the original decoration from the 14th century. Noteworthy are the capitals in the exterior: many of them are characterized by rich decorations with leaves, mythological figures, scenes of war, as well as Biblical and Gospel scenes; the paintings, as revealed by a capital stripped of the 16th century gold painting, were polychrome. In the right transept is the Deposition by Benedetto Antelami; the cycle of frescoes in the nave and apse walls are by Bernardino Gatti. Along the nave, in the lunettes above the spans are monochrome frescoes of Old Testament stories, as well as event of the passion.
This culminates in the apse cupola, frescoed with ‘’Christ, Mary and Angels in Glory’’ by Girolamo Mazzola Bedoli. The 15th-century frescoes in the Valeri Chapel are attributed to the studio of Bertolino de'Grossi; those in the Capella del Comune by the same hands, were painted after the plague of 1410-11, dedicated to Saint Sebastian. The Crypt has a monument to Saint Bernardo di Uberti, bishop of Parma 1106-1133, patron of the diocese; the monument, executed in the 1544 by Prospero Clementi and Girolamo Clementi on design of Mazzola Bèdoli. The sacristy contains. There are four reliefs by Benedetto Antelami, from 1178; the portal has two carvings by Luchino Bianchino. Two great marble lions support the archivolt columns, were carved in the 1281 by Giambono da Bissone; the Ravacaldi chapel has frescoes attributed to the studio of Bertolino de’Grassi. The main feature of the interior is the fresco of Assumption of the Virgin decorating the dome, executed by Correggio in 1526-1530. History of Medieval Arabic and Western European domes Pauluzzi F..
Il duomo di Parma e i suoi arcipreti. Udine, tip. Del Patronato. 1894. Piazza Duomo Parma, Cattedrale.
Emilia-Romagna is an administrative region of Northeast Italy comprising the historical regions of Emilia and Romagna. Its capital is Bologna, it has an area of 22,446 km2, about 4.4 million inhabitants. Emilia-Romagna is one of the wealthiest and most developed regions in Europe, with the third highest GDP per capita in Italy. Bologna, its capital, has one of Italy's highest quality of life indices and advanced social services. Emilia-Romagna is a cultural and tourist centre, being the home of the University of Bologna, the oldest university in the world, containing Romanesque and Renaissance cities, a former Eastern Roman Empire capital such as Ravenna, encompassing eleven UNESCO heritage sites, being a centre for food and automobile production and having popular coastal resorts such as Cervia, Cesenatico and Riccione. In 2018, the Lonely Planet guide named Emilia Romagna as the best place to see in Europe; the name Emilia-Romagna is a legacy of Ancient Rome. Emilia derives from the via Aemilia, the Roman road connecting Piacenza to Rimini, completed in 187 BC and named after the consul Marcus Aemilius Lepidus.
Romagna derives from Romània, the name of the Eastern Roman Empire applied to Ravenna by the Lombards when the western Empire had ceased to exist and Ravenna was an outpost of the east. Before the Romans took control of present-day Emilia-Romagna, it had been part of the Etruscan world and that of the Gauls. During the first thousand years of Christianity trade flourished, as did culture and religion, thanks to the region's monasteries. Afterwards the University of Bologna—arguably the oldest university in Europe—and its bustling towns kept trade and intellectual life alive, its unstable political history is exemplified in such figures as Matilda of Canossa and contending seigniories such as the Este of Ferrara, the Malatesta of Rimini, the Popes of Rome, the Farnese of Parma and Piacenza, the Duchy of Modena and Reggio. In the 16th century, most of these were seized by the Papal States, but the territories of Parma and Modena remained independent until Emilia-Romagna became part of the Italian kingdom between 1859 and 1861.
After the referendum of 2006, seven municipalities of Montefeltro were detached from the Province of Pesaro and Urbino to join that of Rimini on 15 August 2009. The municipalities are Casteldelci, Novafeltria, San Leo, Sant'Agata Feltria and Talamello. On 20 and 29 May 2012 two powerful earthquakes hit the area, they caused churches and factories to collapse. 200 were injured. The 5.8 magnitude quake left 14,000 people homeless. The region of Emilia-Romagna consists of nine provinces and covers an area of 22,446 km², ranking sixth in Italy. Nearly half of the region consists of plains while 27 % is 25 % mountainous; the region's section of the Apennines is marked by areas of badland erosion and caves. The mountains stretch for more than 300 km from the north to the south-east, with only three peaks above 2,000 m – Monte Cimone, Monte Cusna and Alpe di Succiso; the plain was formed by the gradual retreat of the sea from the Po basin and by the detritus deposited by the rivers. Marshland in ancient times, its history is characterised by the hard work of its people to reclaim and reshape the land in order to achieve a better standard of living.
The geology varies, with lagoons and saline areas in the north and many thermal springs throughout the rest of the region as a result of groundwater rising towards the surface at different periods of history. All the rivers rise locally in the Apennines except for the Po, which has its source in the Alps in Piedmont; the northern border of Emilia-Romagna follows the path of the river for 263 km. The region has a temperate broadleaved and mixed forests and the vegetation may be divided into belts: the Common oak-European hornbeam belt, now covered with fruit orchards and fields of wheat and sugar beet, the Pubescent oak-European hop-hornbeam belt on the lower slopes up to 900 m, the European beech-Silver fir belt between 1,000 and 1,500 m and the final mountain heath belt. Emilia-Romagna has two Italian National Parks, the Foreste Casentinesi National Park and the Appennino Tosco-Emiliano National Park. Emilia-Romagna has been a populated area since ancient times. Inhabitants over the centuries have radically altered the landscape, building cities, reclaiming wetlands, establishing large agricultural areas.
All these transformations in past centuries changed the aspect of the region, converting large natural areas to cultivation, up until the 1960s. The trend changed, agricultural lands began giving way to residential and industrial areas; the increase of urban-industrial areas continued at high rates until the end of the 2010s. In the same period and mountainous areas saw an increase in the registration of semi-natural areas, because of the abandonment of agricultural lands. Land use changes can have strong effects on ecological functions. Human interactions such as agriculture and deforestation affect soil function, e.g. food and other biomass production, storing and transformation, habitat and gene pool. In the Emilia-Romagna plain, which represents half of the region and where three quarters of the population of the region live, the agricultural land area has been reduced by 157 km2 while urban and industrial areas
Basilica of San Vitale
The Basilica of San Vitale is a church in Ravenna and one of the most important surviving examples of early Christian Byzantine art and architecture in Europe. The Roman Catholic Church has designated the building a "basilica", the honorific title bestowed on church buildings of exceptional historic and ecclesial importance, although it is not of architectural basilica form, it is one of eight Ravenna structures inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The church was begun by Bishop Ecclesius in 526, when Ravenna was under the rule of the Ostrogoths and completed by the 27th Bishop of Ravenna, Maximian, in 547 preceding the Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna; the construction of the church was sponsored by Julius Argentarius, a banker and architect, of whom little is known, except that he sponsored the construction of the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare in Classe at around the same time. The final cost amounted to 26,000 solidi. Equal to 36.11 pds. of gold. It has been suggested that Julian originated in the eastern part of the Byzantine Empire, where there was a long-standing tradition of public benefactions.
The central vault used a western technique of hollow tubes inserted into each other, rather than bricks. This method was the first recorded structural use of terra-cotta forms, which evolved into modern structural clay tile; the ambulatory and gallery were vaulted only in the Middle Ages. The Baroque frescoes on the dome were made between 1778 and 1782 by S. Barozzi, U. Gandolfi and E. Guarana; the church has an octagonal plan. The building combines Roman elements: the dome, shape of doorways, stepped towers; the church is most famous for its wealth of Byzantine mosaics, the largest and best preserved outside of Constantinople. The church is of extreme importance in Byzantine art, as it is the only major church from the period of the Emperor Justinian I to survive intact to the present day. Furthermore, it is thought to reflect the design of the Byzantine Imperial Palace Audience Chamber, of which nothing at all survives; the belltower has the tenor one dating from the 16th century. According to legends, the church was erected on the site of the martyrdom of Saint Vitalis.
However, there is some confusion as to whether this is the Saint Vitalis of Milan, or the Saint Vitale whose body was discovered together with that of Saint Agricola, by Saint Ambrose in Bologna in 393. The central section is surrounded by two superposed ambulatories; the upper one, the matrimoneum, was reserved for married women. A series of mosaics in the lunettes above the triforia depict sacrifices from the Old Testament: the story of Abraham and Melchizedek, the Sacrifice of Isaac. A pair of angels, holding a medallion with a cross, crowns each lunette. On the side walls the corners, next to the mullioned windows, have mosaics of the Four Evangelists, under their symbols, dressed in white; the portrayal of the lion is remarkable in its ferocity. The cross-ribbed vault in the presbytery is richly ornamented with mosaic festoons of leaves and flowers, converging on a crown encircling the Lamb of God; the crown is supported by four angels, every surface is covered with a profusion of flowers, stars and animals, including many peacocks.
Above the arch, on both sides, two angels hold a disc and beside them a representation of the cities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem. They symbolize the human race. All these mosaics are executed in the Hellenistic-Roman tradition: lively and imaginative, with rich colors and a certain perspective, with a vivid depiction of the landscape and birds, they were finished. The apse is flanked by two chapels, the prothesis and the diaconicon, typical for Byzantine architecture. Inside, the intrados of the great triumphal arch is decorated with fifteen mosaic medallions, depicting Jesus Christ, the twelve Apostles and Saint Gervasius and Saint Protasius, the sons of Saint Vitale; the theophany was begun in 525 under bishop Ecclesius. It has a great gold fascia with twining flowers and horns of plenty. Jesus Christ appears, seated on a blue globe in the summit of the vault, robed in purple, with his right hand offering the martyr's crown to Saint Vitale. On the left, Bishop Ecclesius offers a model of the church.
At the foot of the apse side walls are two famous mosaic panels, completed in 547. On the right is a mosaic depicting the East Roman Emperor Justinian I, clad in Tyrian purple with a golden halo, standing next to court officials, Bishop Maximian, palatinae guards and deacons; the halo around his head gives him the same aspect as Christ in the dome of the apse, but is part of the tradition of rendering the imperial family with haloes describe by Ernst Kantorowicz in the King's Two Bodies. Justinian himself stands in the middle, with soldiers on his right and clergy on his left, emphasizing that Justinian is the leader of both church and state of his empire; the insertion of the Bishop Maximian's name above his head suggests that the mosaic may have been modified in 547, replacing the representation of the prior bishop with that of the Maximian. The gold background of the mosaic shows that his entourage are inside the church; the figures are placed in a V shape.
Paul the Apostle
Paul the Apostle known as Saint Paul and known by his Jewish name Saul of Tarsus, was an apostle who taught the gospel of Christ to the first-century world. Paul is considered one of the most important figures of the Apostolic Age and in the mid-30s to the mid-50s AD he founded several churches in Asia Minor and Europe, he took advantage of his status as both a Jew and a Roman citizen to minister to both Jewish and Roman audiences. According to writings in the New Testament and prior to his conversion, Paul was dedicated to persecuting the early disciples of Jesus in the area of Jerusalem. In the narrative of the Acts of the Apostles, Paul was traveling on the road from Jerusalem to Damascus on a mission to "arrest them and bring them back to Jerusalem" when the resurrected Jesus appeared to him in a great light, he was struck blind, but after three days his sight was restored by Ananias of Damascus and Paul began to preach that Jesus of Nazareth is the Jewish Messiah and the Son of God. Half of the book of Acts deals with Paul's life and works.
Thirteen of the twenty-seven books in the New Testament have traditionally been attributed to Paul. Seven of the Pauline epistles are undisputed by scholars as being authentic, with varying degrees of argument about the remainder. Pauline authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews is not asserted in the Epistle itself and was doubted in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, it was unquestioningly accepted from the 5th to the 16th centuries that Paul was the author of Hebrews, but that view is now universally rejected by scholars. The other six are believed by some scholars to have come from followers writing in his name, using material from Paul's surviving letters and letters written by him that no longer survive. Other scholars argue that the idea of a pseudonymous author for the disputed epistles raises many problems. Today, Paul's epistles continue to be vital roots of the theology and pastoral life in the Catholic and Protestant traditions of the West, as well as the Orthodox traditions of the East.
Paul's influence on Christian thought and practice has been characterized as being as "profound as it is pervasive", among that of many other apostles and missionaries involved in the spread of the Christian faith. Martin Luther's interpretation of Paul's writings influenced Luther's doctrine of sola fide, it has been popularly assumed that Saul's name was changed when he became a follower of Jesus Christ, but, not the case. His Jewish name was "Saul" after the biblical King Saul, a fellow Benjamite and the first king of Israel. According to the Book of Acts, he was a Roman citizen; as a Roman citizen, he bore the Latin name of "Paul"—in biblical Greek: Παῦλος, in Latin: Paulus. It was typical for the Jews of that time to have one Hebrew, the other Latin or Greek. Jesus called him "Saul, Saul" in "the Hebrew tongue" in the book of Acts, when he had the vision which led to his conversion on the Road to Damascus. In a vision to Ananias of Damascus, "the Lord" referred to him as "Saul, of Tarsus".
When Ananias came to restore his sight, he called him "Brother Saul". In Acts 13:9, Saul is called "Paul" for the first time on the island of Cyprus—much than the time of his conversion; the author indicates that the names were interchangeable: "Saul, called Paul." He thereafter refers to him as Paul Paul's preference since he is called Paul in all other Bible books where he is mentioned, including those that he authored. Adopting his Roman name was typical of Paul's missionary style, his method was to put people at their ease and to approach them with his message in a language and style to which they could relate, as in 1 Cor 9:19–23. The main source for information about Paul's life is the material found in Acts. However, the epistles contain little information about Paul's pre-conversion past; the book of Acts recounts more information but leaves several parts of Paul's life out of its narrative, such as his probable but undocumented execution in Rome. Some scholars believe Acts contradicts Paul's epistles on multiple accounts, in particular concerning the frequency of Paul's visits to the church in Jerusalem.
Sources outside the New Testament that mention Paul include: Clement of Rome's epistle to the Corinthians. Paul was born between the years of 5 BC and 5 AD; the Book of Acts indicates that Paul was a Roman citizen by birth, but Helmut Koester takes issue with the evidence presented by the text. He was from a devout Jewish family in the city of Tarsus, one of the largest trade centers on the Mediterranean coast, it had been in existence several hundred years prior to his birth. It was renowned for its university. During the time of Alexander the Great, who died in 323 BC, Tarsus was the most influential city in Asia Minor. Paul referred to himself as being "of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; the Bible reveals little abou
The Jordan River or River Jordan is a 251-kilometre-long river in the Middle East that flows north to south through the Sea of Galilee and on to the Dead Sea. Jordan and the Golan Heights border the river to the east, while the West Bank and Israel lie to its west. Both Jordan and the West Bank take their names from the river; the river has a major significance in Judaism and Christianity since many believe that the Israelites crossed it into the Promised Land and that Jesus of Nazareth was baptised by John the Baptist in it. The Jordan River has an upper course from its sources to the Sea of Galilee, a lower course south of the Sea of Galilee down to the Dead Sea. In traditional terminology, the upper course is referred to as passing through the "Hula Valley", as opposed to "Upper Jordan Valley". Over its upper course, fed by the Hasbani River in Banias and Dan, the river drops in a 75-kilometre run to the once large and swampy Lake Hula, above sea level. Exiting the now much-diminished lake, it goes through an steeper drop over the 25 kilometres down to the Sea of Galilee, which it enters at its northern end.
The Jordan deposits much of the silt it is carrying within the lake, which it leaves again near its southern tip. At that point, the river is situated about 210 metres below sea level; the last 120-kilometre -long section follows what is termed the "Jordan Valley", which has less gradient so that the river meanders before entering the Dead Sea, a terminal lake about 422 metres below sea level with no outlet. Two major tributaries enter from the east during this last section: the Yarmouk River and Zarqa River, its section north of the Sea of Galilee is within the boundaries of Israel and forms the western boundary of the Golan Heights. South of the lake, it forms the border between the Kingdom of Jordan, Israel; the streams coming together to create the River Jordan in its upper basin are, west to east: Iyyon, a stream which flows from Lebanon. Hasbani, a stream which flows from the north-western foot of Mount Hermon in Lebanon. Dan, a stream whose source is at the base of Mount Hermon. Banias, a stream arising from a spring at Banias at the foot of Mount Hermon.
South of the Sea of Galilee the Jordan River receives the waters of further tributaries, the main ones being Yarmouk River Zarqa RiverSmaller tributaries in this segment are Wadi al-Far'a Wadi Qelt While several hypotheses for the origin of the river's name have been proposed, the most accepted is that it comes from Semitic Yard|on'flow down' <√ירד reflecting the river's declivity. Cognates of the word are found in Aramaic and other Semitic languages; the first recorded use of the name appears as Yārdon in Anastasi I, an ancient Egyptian papyrus that dates to the time of Rameses II. Early Arab chronicles referred to the river as Al-Urdunn. In the 19th century the River Jordan and the Dead Sea were explored by boat by Christopher Costigan in 1835, Thomas Howard Molyneux in 1847, William Francis Lynch in 1848, John MacGregor in 1869; the full text of W. F. Lynch's 1849 book Narrative of the United States' Expedition to the River Jordan and the Dead Sea is available online. In 1964, Israel began operating a pumping station that diverts water from the Sea of Galilee to the National Water Carrier.
In 1964, Jordan constructed a channel that diverted water from the Yarmouk River, another main tributary of the Jordan River to the East Ghor Canal. Syria has built reservoirs that catch the Yarmouk's waters. Environmentalists blame Israel and Syria for extensive damage to the Jordan River ecosystem. In modern times, the waters are 70% to 90% used for human purposes and the flow is reduced; because of this and the high evaporation rate of the Dead Sea, as well as industrial extraction of salts through evaporation ponds, the sea is shrinking. All the shallow waters of the southern end of the sea have been drained in modern times and are now salt flats. A small section of the northernmost portion of the Lower Jordan, the first ca. 3-kilometre below the Sea of Galilee, has been kept pristine for local tourism. Most polluted is the 100-kilometre downstream stretch—a meandering stream from above the confluence with the Yarmouk to the Dead Sea. Environmentalists say the practice of letting sewage and brackish water flow into the river has destroyed its ecosystem.
Rescuing the Jordan could take decades, according to environmentalists. In 2007, Friends of the Earth Middle East named the Jordan River as one of the world's 100 most endangered ecological sites, due in part to lack of cooperation between Israel and neighboring Arab states; the same environmentalist organization had said in a report that the Jordan River could dry up by 2011 unless the decay was stopped. The flow rate of the Jordan River once was 1.3 billion cubic metres per year. Recent literature sho
Ravenna is the capital city of the Province of Ravenna, in the Emilia-Romagna region of Northern Italy. It was the capital city of the Western Roman Empire from 402 until that empire collapsed in 476, it served as the capital of the Ostrogothic Kingdom until it was re-conquered in 540 by the Byzantine Empire. Afterwards, the city formed the centre of the Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna until the invasion of the Lombards in 751, after which it became the seat of the Kingdom of the Lombards. Although it is an inland city, Ravenna is connected to the Adriatic Sea by the Candiano Canal, it is known for its well-preserved late Roman and Byzantine architecture, with eight buildings comprising the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna". The origin of the name Ravenna is unclear; some have speculated that "ravenna" is related to "Rasenna", the term that the Etruscans used for themselves, but there is no agreement on this point. The origins of Ravenna are uncertain; the first settlement is variously attributed to the Etruscans and the Umbrians.
Afterwards its territory was settled by the Senones the southern countryside of the city, the Ager Decimanus. Ravenna consisted of houses built on piles on a series of small islands in a marshy lagoon – a situation similar to Venice several centuries later; the Romans ignored it during their conquest of the Po River Delta, but accepted it into the Roman Republic as a federated town in 89 BC. In 49 BC, it was the location. After his battle against Mark Antony in 31 BC, Emperor Augustus founded the military harbor of Classe; this harbor, protected at first by its own walls, was an important station of the Roman Imperial Fleet. Nowadays the city is landlocked, but Ravenna remained an important seaport on the Adriatic until the early Middle Ages. During the German campaigns, widow of Arminius, Marbod, King of the Marcomanni, were confined at Ravenna. Ravenna prospered under Roman rule. Emperor Trajan built a 70 km long aqueduct at the beginning of the 2nd century. During the Marcomannic Wars, Germanic settlers in Ravenna revolted and managed to seize possession of the city.
For this reason, Marcus Aurelius decided not only against bringing more barbarians into Italy, but banished those, brought there. In AD 402, Emperor Honorius transferred the capital of the Western Roman Empire from Milan to Ravenna. At that time it was home to 50,000 people; the transfer was made for defensive purposes: Ravenna was surrounded by swamps and marshes, was perceived to be defensible. However, in 409, King Alaric I of the Visigoths bypassed Ravenna, went on to sack Rome in 410 and to take Galla Placidia, daughter of Emperor Theodosius I, hostage. After many vicissitudes, Galla Placidia returned to Ravenna with her son, Emperor Valentinian III, due to the support of her nephew Theodosius II. Ravenna enjoyed a period of peace, during which time the Christian religion was favoured by the imperial court, the city gained some of its most famous monuments, including the Orthodox Baptistery, the misnamed Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, San Giovanni Evangelista; the late 5th century saw the dissolution of Roman authority in the west, the last person to hold the title of emperor in the West was deposed in 476 by the general Odoacer.
Odoacer ruled as King of Italy for 13 years, but in 489 the Eastern Emperor Zeno sent the Ostrogoth King Theoderic the Great to re-take the Italian peninsula. After losing the Battle of Verona, Odoacer retreated to Ravenna, where he withstood a siege of three years by Theoderic, until the taking of Rimini deprived Ravenna of supplies. Theoderic took Ravenna in 493 slew Odoacer with his own hands, Ravenna became the capital of the Ostrogothic Kingdom of Italy. Theoderic, following his imperial predecessors built many splendid buildings in and around Ravenna, including his palace church Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, an Arian cathedral and Baptistery, his own Mausoleum just outside the walls. Both Odoacer and Theoderic and their followers were Arian Christians, but co-existed peacefully with the Latins, who were Catholic Orthodox. Ravenna's Orthodox bishops carried out notable building projects, of which the sole surviving one is the Capella Arcivescovile. Theoderic allowed Roman citizens within his kingdom to be subject to Roman law and the Roman judicial system.
The Goths, lived under their own laws and customs. In 519, when a mob had burned down the synagogues of Ravenna, Theoderic ordered the town to rebuild them at its own expense. Theoderic died in 526 and was succeeded by his young grandson Athalaric under the authority of his daughter Amalasunta, but by 535 both were dead and Theoderic's line was represented only by Amalasuntha's daughter Matasuntha. Various Ostrogothic military leaders took the Kingdom of Italy, but none were as successful as Theoderic had been. Meanwhile, the orthodox Christian Byzantine Emperor Justinian I, opposed both Ostrogoth rule and the Arian variety of Christianity. In 535 his general Belisarius in 540 conquered Ravenna. After the conquest of Italy was completed in 554, Ravenna became the seat of Byzantine government in Italy. From 540 to 600, Ravenna'
Basilica of San Domenico
The Basilica of San Domenico is one of the major churches in Bologna, Italy. The remains of Saint Dominic, founder of the Order of Preachers, are buried inside the exquisite shrine Arca di San Domenico, made by Nicola Pisano and his workshop, Arnolfo di Cambio and with additions by Niccolò dell'Arca and the young Michelangelo. Dominic Guzman, on arriving in Bologna in January 1218, was impressed by the vitality of the city and recognized the importance of this university town to his evangelizing mission. A convent was established at the Mascarella church by the Blessed Reginald of Orleans; as this convent soon became too small for their increasing number, the preaching Brothers moved in 1219 to the small church of San Nicolò of the Vineyards at the outskirts of Bologna. St. Dominic held here the first two General Chapters of the order. Saint Dominic died in this church on 6 August 1221, he was buried behind the altar of San Nicolò. Between 1219 and 1243 the Dominicans bought all surrounding plots of land around the church.
After the death of Saint Dominic, the church of San Nicolò was expanded and a new monastic complex was built between 1228 and 1240. The apsidal area of the church was demolished and the nave was extended and grew into the Basilica of Saint-Dominic, This church became the prototype of many other Dominican churches throughout the world; the big basilica was divided in two parts: the front part, called “internal church”, was the church of the brothers. It was built in a protogothic style with two aisles and ogival vaults; the church for the faithful, called “external church”, with the simple columns and the trussed flat roof of the old church. Both churches were divided by a ramp; the church was consecrated by Pope Innocent IV on 17 October 1251. On this occasion the crucifix by Giunta Pisano was shown for the first time to the faithful; the remains of the saint were moved in 1233 from its place behind the altar to a simple marble sarcophagus, situated on the floor in the right aisle of the church for the faithful.
Since most of the pilgrims, who came in great numbers to see the grave, were not able to see this shrine, hidden by so many people standing in front of it, the need was felt for a new shrine. In 1267 the remains of Saint Dominic were moved from the simple sarcophagus into the new shrine, decorated with the main episodes from the life of the Saint by Nicola Pisano. Work would continue on this shrine for five centuries; the church was enlarged and the two sections were modified in many ways in the course of the next centuries. New side chapels were built, the majority in the 15th century. A Roman-Gothic bell tower was added in 1313; the dividing wall between the two churches was demolished in the beginning of the 17th century. The choir was at the same time moved behind the altar. Between 1728 and 1732 the interior of the church was renewed by the architect Carlo Francesco Dotti, sponsored by the Dominican pope Benedict XIII, into its present-day Baroque style. Early on the church began receiving many works of art from the faithful.
This has grown into the present-day vast collection of exceptional art treasures created by some the greatest Italian artists, including Giunta Pisano, Nicola Pisano, Arnolfo di Cambio, Niccolò dell'Arca, Iacopo da Bologna, Guido Reni and Filippino Lippi. The square in front of the church is paved with pebbles; the square was used by the faithful to listen to the sermon from the preacher from the pulpit on the left corner of the church. It was the original cemetery; the column in the middle of the square is a brickwork column with the bronze statue of St Dominic and on the back of the square a column in marble and copper of the Madonna of the Rosary, after a design by Guido Reni, commemorating the end of the plague in the city. Behind the first column stands the tomb of Rolandino de’ Passeggeri by Giovanni and on the left, adjoining a house, the tomb of Egidio Foscarari, enriched with an ancient Byzantine marble arch with relief works from the 9th century; the Romanesque façade was restored in 1910 by the architect Raffaele Faccioli.
In the center is a large, embroidered rose window. The lunette above the portal contains a copy of St Dominic blessing Bologna by Lucia Casalini-Torelli. On the left side of the façade is the Lodovico Ghisilardi chapel in Renaissance style, it was built as an example of Vitruvian classicism by the architect Baldassarre Peruzzi around 1530. The church consists of a central nave, two lateral aisles, several side chapels, a transept, a choir and an apse; the interior was renewed in Baroque style with refined elegance and well-balanced proportions by the architect Carlo Francesco Dotti. In the lunettes above the Ionic columns along the nave we can see 10 paintings, depicting episodes in the history of the church; the first two are by the others by Vittorio Bigari. St. Rose of Lima: the painting above the altar, portraying the Ecstasy of the Saint, is by Cesare Gennari; the altar-piece Virgin appearing to St. Hyacinth by Ludovico Carracci, used to stand here. St. Vincent Ferrer: the painting above the altar is by Donato Creti.
On both sides of the chapel are two painting, representing the Miracles of the Saint, by Giuseppe Pedretti. The elegant stucco angels are by one of the best artists of his time. St Antoninus of Florence: The painting above the altar is by Pietro Facini, whil