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Basilica of San Dominico, Bologna

Posted in Architecture, Bible, Historical articles, History, Religion on Tuesday, 31 May 2011

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The Basilica of San Dominico was built on the site of the old church of San Nicolo, where the first followers of Saint Dominic had worshipped.

S. Domenico, picture, image, illustration

The Basilica di S. Domenico, Bologna, by William Wilkins Collins

During the thirteenth century all the land there was purchased by the Dominicans and a large monastic foundation built which supplanted all original buildings, and when the apse of San Nicolo was demolished, the nave was extended and redesigned until the present basilica had taken shape. A bell tower was added early in the fourteenth century and side chapels constructed in the fifteenth century. The basilica was divided in the classic Dominican fashion between the church of the brothers and the simpler church of the people, the former in a proto-Gothic style, the latter of simpler design, but the dividing wall itself was taken down in the sixteenth century. This great basilica was also partly built to house the shrine of Saint Dominic, and the thousands of pilgrims perhaps expected more than a simple sarcophagus hidden away in a side aisle, so a more elaborate shrine was designed and decorated by Nicola Pisano. Outside, adjacent to the apse is the striking tomb of Rolandino de’ Passeggeri.

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