/ / Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore: photo, description Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore)

Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore: photo, description Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore)

Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore - one of the main attractions of the Italian city of Bergamo. It was built in the 12th century in typical Lombard Romanesque style, however, until the 15th century was reconstructed several times. And the interior of the Church was made in Baroque style in the 16-17th centuries.

The Basilica is located in the so-called Upper city of Bergamo, on a hill, and its North is facing to Piazza Duomo, and South to the Piazza Rosate. From the West it adjoins the old Palace Vescovile - Bishop's Palace, and from the North - the famous Cappella Colleoni. Nearby is the baptistery of the Basilica, which was once part of, but in the 19th century was converted into a separate building.

Laying the Foundation of the Basilica took place in 1137, the year - evidenced by the inscription on the South façade, known as Porta dei Leoni Bianchi - "the Gates of the white lions". The place for the building of the new Church was selected special - previously there was a Church of the virgin Mary the 8th century, and even earlier, the ancient pagan temple. However, the construction itself began only in 1157, the year and lasted for almost thirty years. In 1185, the year was the lighting of the main altar, and two years later construction was completed on the transept. The bell tower was built only in the second half of the 15th century. In 1472, the year by order of the condottiere Bartolomeo Colleoni was destroyed the sacristy of the Basilica, and in its place built a magnificent chapel. At the beginning of the 16th century were completed on the South-West portal, which became known as the Porta della Fontana.

An interesting feature of Santa Maria Maggiore is the fact that the Church opposite the chancel, where usually are the main façade and main entrance, built the Palazzo Vescovile. So the entrance to the Basilica is through the portals of the southern and Northern arms of the transept - Porta dei Leoni Bianchi (Gates of the white lions) and Port dei Leoni Rossi (pink lions Gate). The name portals was due to the fact that their columns are based on sculptures of lions made of white and pink marble.

Port dei Leoni Rossi was established in 1353, the year the project of the architect Giovanni da Campione. This gate facing the Piazza Duomo and is decorated with geometric patterns and hunting scenes. Above them you can see statues of saints Barbara, Vincent and Alexander, and a statue of the virgin Mary and child in a Gothic niche.

The other gates - Porta dei Leoni Bianchi - facing Piazza Rosate. They see the image of Christ surrounded by saints and John the Baptist. The author of this gate, created in 1367, the year was also Giovanni da Campione.

Inside the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, made in the form of a Latin cross with three aisles, a large transept and a semicircular apse. The walls in some places are closed to the Florentine and Flemish tapestries from the 16th century. The West wall of the Church you can see the grave of the great Italian composers, Gaetano Donizetti and Simone Mayr. From the works of art that adorn the Basilica, one can distinguish a crucifix of the 14th century, bronze candlestick 1597, the year, the wooden choir, the work of Bernardo Zenale, interesting colorful wooden inlays on biblical motifs and several frescoes 14-17 th centuries.