Fodor's Expert Review Basilica di Sant'Antonio

Padua Religious Building/Site/Shrine
Free Fodor's Choice

Thousands of faithful make the pilgrimage here each year to pray at the tomb of St. Anthony, while others come to admire works by the 15th-century Florentine master Donatello. His equestrian statue (1453) of the condottiere Erasmo da Narni, known as Gattamelata, in front of the church is one of the great masterpieces of Italian Renaissance sculpture. It was inspired by the ancient statue of Marcus Aurelius in Rome's Campidoglio. Donatello also sculpted the series of bronze reliefs in the imposing interior illustrating the miracles of St. Anthony, as well as the bronze statues of the Madonna and saints on the high altar.

The huge church, which combines elements of Byzantine, Romanesque, and Gothic styles, was probably begun around 1238, seven years after the death of the Portuguese-born saint. It underwent structural modifications into the mid-15th century. Masses are held in the basilica almost constantly, which makes it difficult to see these artworks. More accessible is the... READ MORE

Thousands of faithful make the pilgrimage here each year to pray at the tomb of St. Anthony, while others come to admire works by the 15th-century Florentine master Donatello. His equestrian statue (1453) of the condottiere Erasmo da Narni, known as Gattamelata, in front of the church is one of the great masterpieces of Italian Renaissance sculpture. It was inspired by the ancient statue of Marcus Aurelius in Rome's Campidoglio. Donatello also sculpted the series of bronze reliefs in the imposing interior illustrating the miracles of St. Anthony, as well as the bronze statues of the Madonna and saints on the high altar.

The huge church, which combines elements of Byzantine, Romanesque, and Gothic styles, was probably begun around 1238, seven years after the death of the Portuguese-born saint. It underwent structural modifications into the mid-15th century. Masses are held in the basilica almost constantly, which makes it difficult to see these artworks. More accessible is the restored Cappella del Santo (housing the tomb of the saint), dating from the 16th century. Its walls are covered with impressive reliefs by important Renaissance sculptors. The Museo Antoniano (€3; closed Monday), part of the basilica complex, contains a Mantegna fresco and works by Tiepolo, Carpaccio, and Piazzetta.

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Religious Building/Site/Shrine Historical Free Fodor's Choice

Quick Facts

Piazza del Santo
Padua, Veneto  35123, Italy

049-8225652

www.basilicadelsanto.it

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: Basilica free, museum complex €7, Museum complex closed Mon.

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