The church, first example in Italy of Gothic style of French derivation, was built between 1236 and 1254 by the Franciscan community. The members of the community arrived in Bologna in 1218 when Bernardo of Quintavalle, one of the first disciples of St Francis, moved here. St Francis joined his disciples in Bologna some years later.
At present, the church is a sort of pastiche of different styles including Romanesque, Gothic and Early Renaissance.
The high Roman-Gothic façade and the absidal part with the superb impetus of the two bell towers (the largest of airy Gothic architecture of the early 15th century and the other of 1260), and of the flying buttresses of the radial chapels are remarkable. At the chapels’ feet rise the 12th century mausoleums where the renowned glossaries Accursio, Odofredo and Rolandino de' Romanzi were buried.
Inside the church, a magnificent marble altarpiece stands out, surrounded by an austere and imposing structure: it was sculpted between 1388 and 1393 by the Venetians Jacobello and Pier Paolo dalle Masegne. Moreover, there are several noteworthy sepulchral monuments, such as Pope Alexander V's grave designed by Sperandio (1482), the Romanesque Muzzarelli chapel and the airy cloisters (14th and 15th century) of the nearby convent.
Source:Curia Arcivescovile and Le Chiese di Bologna (L'Inchiostroblu)
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The Classic Itinerary: The emotion of the city landmarks
every day 6,45 am - 12,00 pm and 3,30 pm - 7,00 pm. 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.