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Santa Maria Maggiore

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Discover the Majestic Santa Maria Maggiore in Bergamo

If you're planning a trip to Bergamo, Italy, make sure to include a visit to the stunning Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. This historical church, with its rich history and architectural beauty, is a must-see attraction in the city.

Historical Significance

The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore was founded in 1137, but its roots can be traced back even further. According to popular tradition, the church was built to fulfill a vow made by the citizens of Bergamo in 1133 to protect the city from the plague. The church stands on the site of an 8th-century church dedicated to St. Mary, which was built over a Roman temple.

Over the centuries, the basilica underwent various modifications and additions. The high altar was consecrated in 1185, and the presbytery and transept wings were completed in 1187. The bell tower, a prominent feature of the basilica, was built from 1436 and completed by the end of the century.

Architectural Marvels

The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore showcases a blend of Lombard Romanesque and Gothic architectural styles. The exterior of the church has retained its original Lombard Romanesque features, while the interior boasts intricate details and stunning artwork.

One of the highlights of the basilica is the Porta della Fontana, a portal completed in 1521 by Pietro Isabello. This southwestern entrance is adorned with beautiful sculptures and adds to the grandeur of the church.

Inside, you'll find exquisite frescoes, statues, and ornate chapels. The Colleoni Chapel, built between 1481 and 1491, is a masterpiece created by Bartolomeo Colleoni as his personal mausoleum. The chapel is adorned with stunning marble and bronze sculptures, making it a true gem within the basilica.

Things to Do and See

When visiting the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, take your time to explore its various chapels and admire the intricate details of the artwork. Don't miss the opportunity to climb the bell tower for panoramic views of Bergamo's historic center.

After exploring the basilica, take a stroll through the charming streets of Bergamo's Città Alta (Upper Town). Here, you'll find picturesque squares, quaint shops, and delightful cafes where you can relax and soak in the atmosphere.

When to Visit

The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore is open to visitors throughout the year. However, if you want to avoid crowds, it's best to visit during weekdays or early in the morning. The basilica is also a popular venue for concerts and religious ceremonies, so check the schedule in advance to see if any events coincide with your visit.

Uncover the Beauty of Santa Maria Maggiore

The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Bergamo is a true architectural marvel with a rich history. From its historical significance to its stunning artwork and intricate details, this basilica is a must-visit attraction for anyone exploring the city. So, make sure to add Santa Maria Maggiore to your itinerary and immerse yourself in the beauty of this remarkable place.

Updated on 27 May 2024

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