Unfinished – Haiku 2022 #ThursdayDoors

Basilica Petrinio Bologna, Italy Great Door. Image credit:  © M Ramírez | Alamy

unfinished bricks

build cornerstone visions

once rejected


Built by clearing an entire suburb, and eight other churches demolished to make room for it, Basilica San Petronio Bologna’s first stone was laid on 7 June 1390. It was consecrated in 1964 despite its still unfinished exposed brick top half juxtaposed against its bottom half’s barococo.

The door (featured above) is famous for the sculptural elements that surround it, known as Porta Magna.

Designed by Jacopo dell Quercia (circa 1374-1438 AD), the marble sculpting features Old testament themes of redemption around the doorposts. And above the door, New Testament Nativity themes are ensconced (see closeup below).

Porta Magna, Great door detail, Basilica, San Petronio, Bologna. Image credit:  © Valery Voennyy | Alamy


Rumor was that Basilica San Petronio was intended to be the largest church in the world.

However, papal disagreement with so lofty a tower of babel-like goal, halted any such fantasy when the then Pope Pius suddenly, during the basilica’s construction, built structures on the cleared land to hem in the foundation’s intended expansion. (See wider angle showing the basilica relative to the papal-constructed buildings next door).

Apparently, a mix of papal disagreement and funding woes contributed to the basilica’s unfinished facade’s top half of plain exposed brick. (See wider angles below).

In 1656 the longest indoor meridian line in the world at 66.8 meters was constructed at Basilica San Petronio to track the Sun’s elliptical orbit around the Earth.

Basilica San Petronio, Bologna Italy: Image credit: Giovanni Dall’Orto | Wikimedia CC
Image credit: lorenzoclick | flickr Creatve Commons 2.0
Image credit Arno Senoner | Unsplash

Written for #ThursdayDoors – Hosted by Dan Antion – No Facilities

Published by Suzette Benjamin

Positive thinker, inspirational, writer, faith

55 thoughts on “Unfinished – Haiku 2022 #ThursdayDoors

  1. Hard to comprehend that a whole suburb and 8 churches were raised to the ground to build a cathedral of such magnitude and grandeur.
    No wonder the political dissent surrounding the Bologna Basilica di San Petronio, with the longest indoor meridian line in the world: precise Italian ingenuity, delicately carved in marble- mindblowing, there in all its glory as you so accurately portray; there stands the unfinished business.

    Marvelous Thursday and her Doors Stories

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Can you imagine the dialogue and debates before this project got underway
        A magnificent structure, where astronomy and mathematics collided.
        You are most welcome Poet. 🧡
        Thank you always for your grand shares.

        Happy Thursday too😊

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Almost 600 years of waiting – wow. I also find it interesting that the upper half is brick – I’m guessing faster and cheaper construction then – which itself would be prohibitively expensive today. I love these stories you find and share, Suzette. Thanks for supporting our challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The contrast between the two parts is so interesting, Suzette. Perhaps it’s like the contrast between what we should be as Christians and what we really look like to God before being seen through the heart and sacrifice of Christ.


    Liked by 1 person

  4. This was very interesting, and darkly comic in “Pope Pius suddenly, during the basilica’s construction, built structures on the cleared land to hem in the foundation’s intended expansion.” Fitting haiku accompaniment

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The doors are fabulous indeed. And alas somethings stay unfinished…a lasting reminder perhaps that great effort counts for a whole lot.
      Always a pleasure.
      Blessings to your weekend, Kellye!


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