The Basilica di San Petronio was built between 1390 and 1426. The Basilica can be found in Piazza Maggiore in Bologna.
The Imposing Building was designed by the architect Antonio di Vincenzo. It was originally intended to be the biggest Basilica in Italy even larger than that of San Pietro in Rome. However the Pope at the time Pio or Pius decided that he wanted la Basilica di san Pietro to remain the largest in the world. Therefore in 1514 he decided to fund the Archiganisio building instead.
Antonio di Vincenzo's project lost its funding and was never finished. Even to this day the Basilica has never been completed.
The Basilica is considered one of the greatest Catholic churches in Italy. Its facade reaches a height of 51 metres and a length of 132 metres with a width of 60 metres and a central vault of 41 metres. Although it might look complete there is some obvious evidence such as the marble facade and the shape of the basilica which indicate that the building still remains incomplete. The Basilica was originally suposed to have been built in the shape of a cross however it has stayed in a T shape. The pink and white marble facade is almost finished except for a piece just above the main entrance.
On entering the Basilica the first thing you notice is the grandeur and vastness of the building. The internal part of the building is completely coated in marble. Along the sides there are several sections or chapels each containing different works of art devoted to various saints.
The main part was built in 1426, it has 11 chapels built around it. The most famous of the pieces of art found in the Basilica are Storie dei Re Magi (the story of the wise men) and L'inferno e il paradiso (Heaven and hell) both by Giovanni da Modena. L'inferno e il paradiso the most famous of the due depicts scenes from heaven and hell as the title suggest. People are being devoured by hideous creatures and amongst them we see beautiful women. It's quite chaotic really and hard to make out what's what especially when one is not an art lover.
The altar is quite exceptional. Above the altar is a dome with a wonderful alfresco of angels/ cherubs
Quite a few celebrations were carried out here including the coronation of Charles VI on February 24th, 1530. The remains of Elisa Bonaparte (Napoleon'.s sister) are also buried here.