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