The Basilica di San Domenico has a wealth of history and art – more than any other church in Bologna. St. Domenico of Guzman, the Spanish founder of the Order of Preachers (also known as the Dominican Order or the Dominicans), arrived in Bologna around 1200 and acquired the property where the church now stands. After his death in 1221, the monks decided to build a bigger church, where they could honour St. Domenico (his remains are preserved in the chapel of San Domenico inside a marble ark). The chapel also contains precious sculptures by Nicola Pisano, Alfonso Lombardini, G.B. Boudard and Niccolò dell'Arca. The church is located in Piazza San Domenico and features a sober Romanesque façade, to the right is the Ghisilardi Chapel by Baldassarre Peruzzi.
The inside of the Basilica was restored between 1727-32 by Carlo Francesco Dotti, who combined the two ancient medieval structures into light-washed building. It now hosts precious works of art like paintings by Guercino (San Tommaso – St. Thomas), Luca Cambiaso (Natività - Nativity), Filippino Lippi (Sposalizio mistico di S. Caterina – St. Catherine's mystic wedding), Lodovico Carracci (San Raimondo – St. Raymond), Giunta Pisano (Crocifisso - Crucifix).
Points of interest: the statues of St. Petronius and St. Procolus and the angel by Michelangelo, the chapel decorations (Glorificazione di S. Domenico – St. Domenico's glorification by Guido Reni), the evocative cloisters and San Domenico’s cell.
The wooden choir by the monk Damiano from Bergamo is a masterpiece of the Renaissance period (1528-51): it was admired by Emperor Charles V and is called the eighth wonder of the world.
Source: Curia Arcivescovile and Le Chiese di Bologna (L'Inchiostroblu)
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From Monday to Friday 9.00am - 12.00pm and 3.30pm - 6.00 pm; Saturday 9.00am - 12.00pm and 3.30pm - 5.00pm and Sunday 3.30pm - 5.00pm. During the religious services, the tourist visit could be limited or suspended. Opening times can be subjected to little changes. For further information please call: Curia Arcivescovile tel. 051 6480611.