San Paolo Maggiore Church, Bologna

San Paolo Maggiore Church, Bologna

San Paolo Maggiore, also known as San Paolo Decollato, is a Baroque-style, Roman Catholic basilica church in Bologna.

The church was commissioned between 1606 and 1611 by the Barnabites from the architect Ambrogio Magenta or Mazenta. Patronage for this church was mainly derived from the Prince Virgilio Spada, brother of Cardinal Bernardino Spada. The Barnabites, also known as the Clerics Regular of St Paul, named this church as Maggiore to distinguish it from two other San Paolo's in Bologna. Between 1634 and 1636 the facade was built to designs by Ercole Fichi. The facade, in brick and stone, has statues of St Peter and Paul, respectively by Domenico Maria Mirandola and G. Cruventi.

Inside the building, the vaults were frescoed with scenes of St Paul in the Areopagus of Athens by Antonio and Giuseppe Rolli. Antonio died after a fall from a scaffold, and the work was completed by his brother. The cupola, apse, sacristy and two chapels in the transept were frescored with quadratura by Pietro Farina, and figures by Giuseppe Antonio Caccioli.

The main altar (1643-1650) features a dramatic marble sculptural group Beheading of St Paul (sculpted in Rome in 1634, but not in place till 1644) by Alessandro Algardi. Algardi also completed the bronze plaques on the altar.

The church altars have masterpieces by Guercino and Giuseppe Maria Crespi. In the second chapel is a canvas depicting Paradise by Lodovico Carracci. Nicolo Tornioli painted a Cain Killing Abel and Jacob wrestling with angel for the church.
Sight description based on wikipedia

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San Paolo Maggiore Church on Map

Sight Name: San Paolo Maggiore Church
Sight Location: Bologna, Italy (See walking tours in Bologna)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

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