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Cattedrale Metropolitana di San Pietro

St. Peter City Cathedral

Via Indipendenza, 9 - 40121 Bologna (BO)

Phone +39 051 222112

Reference maps: C-4


Date of last update: 23/04/2018, 12:43

Cattedrale Matropolitana di San Pietro is the cathedral of Bologna, entitled “Metropolitana” in 1582 by Pope Gregorio XIII, who also turned the diocese of Bologna into an archdiocese. In the past, there was a baptistery in front of the façade and the origins of the building may be traced back to the beginning of the Christian era (even though it is said that the church already existed during the 10th century).
Thoughout the centuries the cathedral has underdone many changes: first a fire and then a earthquake destroyed it, in August 1131 and in 1222 respectively.

The building, as it may be seen today, was renovated by three architects (Floriano, Ambrosini, Alfonso Torreggiani and Cosimo Morelli), who removed every trace of the original romanesque-gothic structure. The project began on 26th March 1605 and the cathedral was enriched with a new façade designed by Alfonso Torreggiani between 1743 and 1754 on behalf of the bolognese Pope Benedetto XIV.

Inside the church, nice paintings by Prospero Fontana (1579), Ludovico Carracci (1618), Marcantonio Franceschini (1740) and two valuable frescoes may be seen: Crocifisso fra la Madonna e S. Giovanni Evangelista, made in wood, dating back to the 13th century (it could already be found in the romanesque cathedral) and Compianto sul Cristo Morto by Alfonso Lombardi (1522-1527).

The treasure of the cathedral contains liturgical artefacts and vestments of great artistic and spiritual value starting from the 14th century.

Its bell tower is the second tallest tower in the town (70 m). In fact, there are two towers in one built in different times (the 10th and 13th centuries). Inside of the belfry, there is the biggest bell that can be rung “on the Bologna's way of ringing” (until the complete rotation of the bell). The biggest bell has 3300 kg and the full weight of all bells inside of the tower is 6500 kg. There is a beautiful panoramic view from the top of the tower.

Source: Curia Arcivescovile and Le Chiese di Bologna (L'Inchiostroblu)

by bus: lines and timetables on the website www.tper.it

by car: located in restricted traffic zone ZTL. Ring road exits  n. 11/11bis-12 direction city center.

Monday to Saturday: 7.30 am - 6.45 pm; Sunday 8 am - 6.45 pm (Via Indipendenza's entrance). 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: 051 222112.

The "Campanile of the Cathedral" can be visited independently. A donation of € 5 is required for the maintenance of the tower and the Cathedral. 

From April 21 to September 30, 2018, the "Campanile" and the Crypt will be open on Saturday from 2pm to 4,30 pm and from 7pm to 11pm except on Saturday, May 5 and 12.
On Saturday, May 19 from 7pm to 11pm the "Campanile" will be open only by via Altabella 2.

The Archaeological Area will be open on Saturday from 2pm to 4,30pm. On other days the Archaeological Area can be visited by appointment sending an SMS to +39 3888987065.

The "Treasure of the Cathedral" can be visited by reservation calling  +39 051 222112 - guided tours for groups are available by reservation.

Cattedrale Metropolitana di San Pietro