RELIGIOUS BUILDINGS AND SACRED ART

A great number of churches in Mantua have considerable artistic importance. Among them, in the area of Mantua’s historic center, the 11th century Duomo, also known as St. Peter’s Cathedral, was restored after a fire in the fourteenth century and renovated again in the sixteenth century by Giulio Romano. In 1756 Nicolò Baschiera replaced the late Gothic medieval facade with the current forms of late Baroque.

Inside the monumental complex of Palazzo Ducale there is the Basilica Palatina of Santa Barbara, commissioned by Duke Guglielmo for religious functions and build by Mantuan architect Giovanni Battista Bertani in the second half of the sixteenth century. The church, conceived to enhance and capture every single nuance of sounds to provide excellent acoustics, houses the extraordinary organ of Graziadio Antegnati, built in 1565.

In the very heart of the city there is the Basilica of Sant’Andrea , a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture . The Basilica was designed by Leon Battista Alberti in 1472 and was completed in 1765 with the inclusion of the dome designed by Filippo Juvarra. Basilica of Sant’Andrea, built on the church of an ancient Benedictine monastery, now houses the funerary chapel of Andrea Mantegna. On the back of the Basilica, in Piazza Leon Battista Alberti, remains of the cloister of the Benedictine monastery are visible.

Other important examples of sacred arts are preserved in the Diocesan Museum Francesco Gonzagain Piazza Virgiliana. The Museum hosts unique painting masterpieces, precious tapestries and French enamels, works of gold and silver of the Gonzaga family and an exceptional collection of Renaissance armors from the Sanctuary of Madonna delle Grazie.

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