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UNDER CONSTRUCTION!

When I visited in 2019 the Duomo, San Domenico, San Giuliano and San Paolo in the centre were all still closed after the (small) earthquake of 2012. Initially I saw this as a discouragement to starting this page, but then realised that the impossibility of visits made a source of reliable information even more useful. The idea of a diocesan museum (maybe in the bishop's palace) to display the works from the closed churches was mooted at the time. But nothing came of it.

Duke Ercole I from 1493, the year of the death of duchess Eleanora, until his death in 1505 founded or rebuilt fourteen churches or monasteries and contributed towards work on twelve more. This piety was inspired to a degree by the death of his duchess, but mostly by Savonarola, famous for his influence in Florence but born in Ferrara, the grandson of a court physician. Little remains of his church building boom, though, so little visible record remains, leading to Italian architectural historians resorting to an obsession with attributing all surviving buildings to Biagio Rossetti. San Francesco and Santa Maria in Vado are Rosetti's only documented churches
 

 



Duomo
Corpus Domini
El Ges¨ San Michele del Ges¨
Oratorio dell'Annunziata
Chiesa delle Sacre Stimmate


San Bartolo
San Benedetto
San Carlo Borromeo
San Cristoforo alla Certosa
San Cristoforo dei Bastardini
San Domenico
San Francesco
San Giacomo
San Giorgio
fuori le mura
San Giovanni Battista
San Girolamo
San Giuliano
San Gregorio Magno
San Martino
San Matteo del Soccorso
San Maurelio
San Michele Arcangelo
San Nicol˛

 

 

San Paolo
San Pietro
San Romano


Sant'Agnese
Sant'Agnesina
Sant'Agostino
Sant'Anna ospedale & church
Sant'Antonio Abate
Sant'Antonio in Polesine

Santa Barbara
Santa Caterina Martire
Santa Chiara delle Cappuccine
Santa Francesca Romana
Santa Giustina
Santa Libera
Santa Margherita

Santa Maria dei Servi
Santa Maria dei Teatini
Santa Maria del Suffragio
Santa Maria della Consolazione
Santa Maria della Visitazione (Madonnina)
Santa Maria in Vado
Santa Maria Nuova

Santa Monica
Santa Teresa Trasverberata
Santi Cosma e Damiano
Santi Giuseppe, Tecla e Rita da Cascia
Santi Simone e Giuda
Santissimo Crocifisso di San Luca
Santo Spirito
Santo Stefano

Teatini see Santa Maria dei Teatini

Lost
Sant'Andrea
San Bartolo
San Bernardino
San Gabriele
San Guglielmo
San Lazzaro
San Marco
San Maurelio
San Silvestro
San Vito

Sant'Agostino

Santa Caterina da Siena
Santa Lucia
Santa Maria degli Angeli
Santa Maria della Concezione
Santa Maria della Rosa
 

Casa Romei Has frags of stone and art. Was given to the Poor Clares of the adjacent convent of Corpus Domini and used to house pilgrims and other visitors to the city (and at one time one of the guests was Lucrezia Borgia; see below). It remained in the nunsĺ hands until the confiscation of monastic properties under Napoleon.

But the beginning of the 20th century is a time of revival, so much so that numerous restorations carried out in Ferrara in the same years are aimed at the restoration and stylistic reconstruction of late Gothic churches and facades: think of the facade of the church of San Gregorio, that of San Giuliano or Corpus Christi.

Duomo
San Giorgio Nuovo


History
Built at the behest of Guglielmo II Adelardi, on land belonging to the monastery of San Romano, and consecrated on May 8th 1135, according to the inscription on the fašade. But this inscription has been recently found to date to the 15th century. Arguments rage but it seems safe to say 'the 1130s'. The work involved Wiligelmo, famous for Modena's Duomo, and Master Niccol˛ the architect and sculptor also responsible for impressive carving in Verona on the fašades of the Duomo and San Zeno. The fašade here is most impressive, especially the doorway with its tabernacle. Also the Romanesque upper loggias, with the twisty columns. The latter are locally said to have been created by the devil, who did it to spoil things but was disappointed when the locals loved his work. The exterior and narthex are the building's highlights - the south side too is a bit spectacular with its portico of shops, the Loggia dei Merciai built in 1473 in order to provide a viewing platform to view the festivities associated with the duke's marriage, but paid for by the cloth worker's guild who got a Renaissance arcade below to replace their wooden booths. But Duke Ercole I's major work was on the choir in 1498 by Biagio Rossetti. Work was still underway in 1502 preparing for the arrival of Lucrezia Borgia, the bride of duke Alfonso. Rossetti's plans for the crossing were completed in 1636 by Luca Danesi. The interior was ruined by work carried out between 1712 and 1728 by Francesco Mazzarelli.  Two aisles were lost and most of the original art destroyed. The bronze statues and Tura's organ shutters (in the Duomo museum) are all that remains of the 15th century work. An air raid on 28 November 1944 resulted in the destruction of the sacristy and considerable damage to the apse.

Surrounded by four red marble beasts. The church was dedicated to the Virgin and St George, both of whom feature on the fašade.

Fašade
Divided into three parts horizontally of equal height. The lowest, Romanesque, level was topped from the mid-12th century by the more gothic levels

Over the central doorway is a tabernacle with sculptures of the Last Judgement by unknown 13th century hands. In the tympanum above is the Redeemer, flanked by angels holding the symbols of the Passion, and the two kneeling figures of the Virgin and St John the Evangelist. The standing figures below in the architrave include angels blowing trumpets and weighing souls, with the blessed off to the left, to Heaven, and the damned off towards Hell on the right. The four spandrels below contain figures of four of the dead emerging from their tombs. The portal itself has Master Niccol˛'s Saint George and the Dragon in the lunette and a frieze of scenes from the life of Christ in the architrave. Under the central arch of the upper loggia, there is the statue of the Madonna and Child of 1427, by the sculptor Michele da Firenze.

To the right on the fašade is a niche with a statue the Marquis of Ferrara,  Alberto dĺEste, which was erected by the communal government in 1393 to commemorate a papal bull granting city control over certain church properties, which the marquis had won for the city in 1391. The text of this bull, the Bonifaciana, is inscribed beside the niche.

The south side of the Duomo had the elaborate Bishop's Door or Porta dei Mesi (Door of the Months), attributed to Nicholaus and Benedetto Antelami  and decorated between 1225 and 1230 with panels depicting the Labours of the Months featuring zodiac symbols and seasonal farming activities, by the so-called Master of the Months. This doorway faced the town hall and law courts and so symbolised the connection of church with commune. Ferrara's governing council, the Savi, often met in the bishop's palace and even the cathedral, which would seem to give their decisions divine approval.  The doorway was demolished between 1717 to 1736 with some panels kept outside and some reused, upside down, as flooring in the atrium of the cathedral where they were discovered in 1931 during renovation work.

Interior
 The narthex has two ancient sarcophagi, and two more lions carrying the columns which once decorated the main portal, like Master Niccol˛'s others in Verona. Rossetti's choir, mentioned above, has a vault decorated with a version of  Michelangeloĺs Last Judgment, by Bastianino. There was originally a tramezzo, or choir screen, across the nave which in the mid 15th century had life-size bronze statues of St. George and the Dragon, San Maurelio, the Virgin, St. John and a Crucified Christ. The tramezzo is long gone, but the statues by Niccol˛ Baroncelli and Domenico di Paris, pupils of Donatello, are now in a chapel to the right of the high altar.

The interior was remodelled in 1712ľ18.

TO EDIT on site?
The two stoups have life-size angels by Andrea and Ferdinando VaccÓ from Ferrara (1745), and on either side of the main door are two detached frescoes by Garofalo, representing St Peter and St Paul, taken from San Pietro?

The last altarpiece along the north aisle by Francesco Francia depicts the Coronation of the Virgin with Saints below with the Christ Child lying on the ground with no-one taking any notice of Him. In the transepts are very interesting painted terracotta busts in tondos of the Apostles by Alfonso Lombardi.

The south transept/ last chapel on the right has a Martyrdom of Saint Lawrence by Guercino (1629) and the Altar of the Calvary, composed in 1673 from large 15th-century bronze of Christ on the Cross flanked by the Virgin and St John by Niccol˛ and Giovanni Baroncelli, with St George and the Dragon and St Maurilius by Domenico di Paris. Below is the effigy tomb of Bishop Bovelli (d. 1954).

A fresco of the Last Judgement by Bastianino (1577-81) in the apse semi-dome is very similar to the one in the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo, Bastianino's master. It was restored in 2000 after years of restorations, ranging from the inept to the minimal, as well as scratches caused by dusting with a broom and smoke damage.

The wooden choir stalls are by the workshop of Bernardino Canozzi from Lendinara

The sacristy has a V&C with donor by Domenico Panetti, an Annunciation by Garofalo (originally from San Silvestro) (a V&C with Saint Sylvester and five more is also reported here from San Silvestro) and a St Catherine of Siena by Niccol˛ Pisano

Lost art
Tura painted a Nativity for the Duomo in 1458 which is now lost.
A Circumcision by Bastianino from a chapel in the left transept here, now in the Pinacoteca. Panels of Saint Maurelius and Saint George, both looking pretty frowny, from a high altarpiece here by Garofalo, are now in the Duomo museum.

Campanile
Foundations laid by Niccol˛ III in 1412, but little done until Borso resumed work in 1451, the year of his succession. The first two stories were finished under Borso, but the third was added by Ercole. Work was suspended in 1494, resumed in 1579 with Giambattista Aleotti overseeing the third story. Work finished in 1596  but was never completed. The lower three (two?) stories are supposedly to plans by Leon Battista Alberti,

Opening times
Currently closed for building work, but Google (see below) shows the work on the fašade had progressed by November 2020, since it was still totally covered in November 2019.


 



 

San Romano
Via San Romano
The church and cloister has housed the Duomo museum since 2000


Initially occupied by Benedictine monks and later Augustinians, the church was here by 990. Major work in the 12th century with its current structure dating to the early 15th century. Amongst many Este interventions from 1230, major work was carried out in 1287 and 1407. In 1487 Folco dĺEste instigated work making the church and cloister taller and adding decorative terracotta elements. In the lunette on the facade, above the entrance is the statue of a knight from the 14th century, Saint Romanus, attributed to Master Niccol˛, responsible for much work on the Duomo's fašade.

More rebuilding at the end of the 16th century, in 1619, and in 1754 when Cardinal Crescenzi's will paid for an altar to house the remains of Saint Romanus. Following Napoleonic suppression the buildings were used as a prison. In the second half of the 19th century two marble plaques were removed from the wall in front of the cloister and wooden poles inserted into the cavities so revealed, to which a noose was tied used to carry out death sentences. The church was later sold to a private company and used as a warehouse until the mid- 20th century. During the Second World War the former church and cloister suffered bomb damage. In the 1950s the buildings that clustered around the church were removed and the cloister was rebuilt. The church was restored more in the 1970s and the cloister was used for exhibitions. The church was used for events, including the Ferrara Buskers Festival. The church and cloister has housed the Duomo museum since 2000


Lost art
now in the  Pinacoteca
A 1412 detached fresco fragment showing Saint Romanus by an anonymous master. Panels depicting Saint John the B and Saint Jerome Reading by another Ferrarese master from later in the 15th century. Two panels showing The Baptism of Saint Romanus & The Conversion of Saint Romanus by Bastianino from the late 16th century

Art from the Duomo in the San Romano museum
Panels depicting the Labours of the Months featuring zodiac symbols and seasonal farming activities, by the so-called Master of the Months from beyween 1225 and 1230.

Has the St George and the Dragon and Annunciation panels by CosmŔ Tura which were organ doors.

Madonna della Granna by Jacopo della Quercia, the Madonna of the Pomegranate, commissioned in 1403 and placed on the altar of the Silvestri family on the left of the nave in the Duomo in September 1406 (the date on the base is 1408 but this was added later and is wrong). It is, therefore, the earliest work that can be securely attributed to Jacopo.  It is sometimes known as the Madonna del Pane (Madonna of the Bread) as the Scroll of the Law that the Child holds echoes the shape of the typical bread of Ferrara.

 

 

 

Corpus Domini
Corpus Christi
Via Pergolato

History
Founded as a convent for Augustinian nuns by Bernardina Sedazzari, a Ferrarese merchant's daughter, with Nicol˛ III d'Este providing funding and helping at the laying of the foundations in 1415. The convent was approved for Poor Clares in 1431. Most of the first nuns died of the plague but later inmates included Caterina Vigri (or Vegri) who founded the Clarissan convent of Corpus Domini in Bologna in 1456 and was canonised in 1712. Caterina painted images of the Christ Child on the walls here and copied and illustrated her own breviary which is still here. Building work here in 1491/2 at the instigation of Duchess Eleonora, who had her own cell here and her own oratory within the sisters' choir.

This was the convent where the foremost Ferrara families sent their daughters in the 15th and 16th centuries and where the (mostly female) members of the Este family chose to be buried - their pavement tombs are in the 18th-century nunsĺ choir. Amongst them you'll find Lucrezia Borgia, the notorious daughter of Pope Alexander VI and sister of Cesare Borgia, who came to Ferrara to marry Alfonso I (her third husband) and who died here in childbirth at the age of 39. Two of her sons lie beside her and her first daughter Eleonora who was abbess here. Also here are her husband Alfonso I, Ercole I and his wife Eleonora of Aragon (who took a special interest in this convent, frequently retreating here, where she had her own cell), and Alfonso II. Corpus Domini echoed San Francesco, where the male Este where mostly buried, at the other end of what is now the Via Savonarola, a street built by Borso D'Este to encourage the wealthy and influential to build their palazzi here. The Casa Romei was one result. In Lorenzo Costa's famous fresco of the Virgin and Child surrounded by the Bentivoglio family in San Giacomo Maggiore in Bologna Camilla, the daughter in a nun's habit, took the veil here, her sister Isotta joining her later.

The church was badly damaged in a fire on Christmas Day 1665 which started in a crib, with the loss of the wall paintings of Caterina Vigri, and then largely rebuilt. Reconsecration in 1667 with more work in 1770 by the architect Antonio Foschini. He added the presbytery and moved the 15th-century fašade to face into Via Campofranco

The Clarrissans left during the suppressions of Napoleon in 1798 but returned to parts of the complex in 1800, where they remain. By 1812 they had managed to buy back a lot of the dispersed fittings. The complex passed to the state 1867 and then to the Municipality of Ferrara in 1908. Most of the convent was demolished in 1906 and a school built. In 1909 the small facade on via Campofranco was rebuilt along its original 15th-century lines and in 1960 Este remains which had originally been buried in the demolished church of Santa Maria degli Angeli were moved to the choir here.

Interior
Over the high altar is a Communion of the Apostles by Giambettino Cignaroli (1768), and there's an oval ceiling fresco of The Glory of Saint Caterina Vegri by Giuseppe Ghedini (1770ľ1773).

A Crucifixion by Scarsellino from 1600 over the main altar. In the choir there is also ta Portrait of Santa Caterina Vegri by Lorenzo Garofali, 1712; the Immaculate Conception by Maurelio Scannavini, from c.1668; and a monochrome Deposition by Giuseppe Antonio Ghedini. The walnut choir stalls are 18th century.

Lost art in the Pinacoteca.
A Crucifixion panel attributed to Guariento. The Dream of the Virgin panel (see right) by Simone de' Crocifissi. A panel of the Burial of Christ with Franciscan Saints by a Ferrarese/Paduan master from the mid 15th century. A panel showing The Death of a Female Religious by an anonymous master, maybe from Mantua, from around 1500.

Opening times
3.30-5.30 except Sat and Sun, ring at the convent round the corner in Via Pergolato 4; the Franciscan nuns of the closed order of the Poor Clares open the door by remote control.
 

 


Ges¨
San Michele del Ges¨
Piazza Tasso


History
Built for the Jesuits in 1570 to designs by Alberto Schiatti. Following the suppression of the Jesuits in 1773, the church and college passed to the Somascans. In 1933 the archbishop Ruggero Bovelli transferred the Priory of San Michele to the church of the Ges¨, which was then renamed San Michele nel Ges¨. Damaged by bombing in 1944, in 1986 the name changed back to its current one.

Interior

An aisleless nave with connected side chapels , the church is big and quite quietly baroque, with one of those emotional terracotta Lamentation tableaux by Mazzoni, fully polychromed this time, with seven life-size figures, made in 1485. It was commissioned by Duke Ercole d'Este and Eleonora of Aragon, who are shown as participants in the event. The figures depicted are the Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalene, Mary Cleofas, Mary Salome, Saint John the Evangelist, Nicodemus, and Joseph of Arimathea. Ercole and Eleonora are cast as Joseph of Arimathea and Mary Salome. The group was originally placed in the church of Santa Maria della Rosa, now destroyed, within the Addizione Erculea (Herculean Addition) the urban expansion which doubled the walled city's limits.

Altarpieces in the south aisle include an Annunciation by Giuseppe Mazzuoli (Bastarolo) and two (Jesuit-commissioned?) by Giuseppe Maria Crespi from Bologna (Lo Spagnuolo) -  the Communion of Saint Stanislaus Kostka in the Presence of Saint Luigi Gonzaga (1727) and the Miracle of Saint Francis Xavier (1729).

devotional statuettes in the niches of the aisles. A Trinity by Camillo Filippi.

Lost art
Eight long low panels of The Life of Christ by Bastarelo (Giuseppe Mazzuoli) from the 16th century are in the Pinacoteca.
A Landscape with a Hermit and an Angel by Giuseppe Zola from the 18th century.
A terracotta tile depicting the Deposition attributed to  Alfonso Lombardi is in the Casa Romei.

Opening times 8.30-11.30 Sun & hols 8.30-1.00/4.30-6.00

Bibliography
In faciem loci - La Chiesa dei Gesuiti a Ferrara tra storia e realtÓ costruttiva byVeronica Balboni
 

 




 

Oratorio dellĺAnnunziata
Santa Apollinare
Via Borgo di Sotto


History
Built in 1373 for Niccol˛ Zapponari (dall'Oro?) who donated it to Confraternita dei Battuti Neri (or the Brotherhood of the Black Beats as Google translates it!). The brotherhood had been established in 1366 and was devoted to accompanying those condemned to death and burying their corpses. The brotherhood were also devoted to the True Cross, a relic of which the church acquired from Isabella of Aragon in the 16th century. In 1612 they decided to expand the oratory and the job went to Giovan Battista Aleotti, who also designed the fašade. The two rooms of the oratory, one above the other, was converted into one tall space. (This conversion was reversed during the last rebuilding in 1950, after which the church also ceased to be called Santa Apollinare.) Further work had resulted after the Napoleonic suppression and the First World War, and then there was bombing in 1944 and the 2012 earthquake.


Fašade of 1612 is by Gian Battista Aleotti.

Interior
The frescoes here are attributed to Camillo Filippi, Sebastiano Filippi (Camillo's son, also known as Il Bastianino), Pellegrino Tibaldi and Niccol˛ Rosselli Giovanni and  Francesco Surchi (il Dielai ) with trompe-lĺoeil perspectives by Francesco Scala. (The names of Garofalo and Girolamo da Carpi are also mentioned.) The cycle of eight paintings were commissioned in 1547 by the ConfraternitÓ della Buona Morte (another name for the confraternity mentioned above, it seems) and represent the Legend of the True Cross according to the Golden Legend. The cycle begins on the right wall of the presbytery and finishes on the left wall.

On the altar wall is a 15th-century Resurrection fresco with members of the confraternity, attributed to the school of Pisanello, maybe Antonio Alberti (or Master G.Z., as more recent attribs have it)  Above is a 19th-century Annunciation by Gregorio Boari

and on the opposite wall is The Madonna Giving the Belt to St. Thomas by the Flemish artist Lambert van Noort (16th century).
 

   
Chiesa delle Sacre Stimmate
Via Palestro

History
Dedicated to the Stigmata of Saint Francis and built between 1616 and 1621 for the Confraternita delle Sacre Stimmate in an area of the Addizione Erculea yet to be occupied. The street it faced onto was called via delle Stimmate until 1860 did it become via Palestro, to commemorate the battle of the same name. Closed for worship after the 2012 earthquake

Art
Saint Francis Receives the Stigmata by Guercino 1632. 

A Crucifixion by Carlo Bononi (c.1616) and a PietÓ by Carlo Bononi (c.1623)  (see right) are both now in storage at the Archbishop's Palace
 
 

San Bartolo
San Bartolomeo
Via San Bartolo
   

History

In the suburbs, but old and important. The monastery was said to have been founded by Countess Ada, wife of Otto I d'Este, in 854 on the feast of St. Bartholomew, the same day that her son Marino had escaped a fire during a battle with the Venetians for Comacchio.

Severely damaged by the earthquake of 1570 and rebuilt by the architect Carlo Pasetti. Only the church survived of the original buildings and kept its gothic appearance, and campanile

Suppressed by Napoleon, now a psychiatric hospital.

Lost art
Frescoes from between 1260 and 1294 from the
presbytery,  the five apsidal lunettes and the porch attributed to the Maestro di San Bartolo were detached and restored in 1955/1970 and are now in the central hall of the Pinacoteca Nazionale di Ferrara. They depict the Ascension , the Apostolic College and stories of St. Bartholomew, the Evangelists and an incomplete cycle of the months.

The Pinacoteca has a Nativity with Saints Benedict and Romualdus (Alberic) by Ludovico Mazzolino (see Bologna San Fran Lost art.) and an Adoration of the Magi with Saint Bartholomew 1549 by Garofalo, 'from San Bartolo'  says suburbana in Pina cat.

An unusual Visitation panel attrib to Ricamador (Girolamo Ferrari)


Tipo San Bartolo
A type of Byzantine-inspired sgraffito (incised) Venetian slipware of the 13th century is named after San Bartolo due to a decorated bowl having been found inset into the fašade here.
 

 

   

San Benedetto
Piazza San Benedetto


History

There may already have been a small church dedicated to Saint Benedict here in 1492. Building here began in 1496, to designs by Biagio Rossetti, for the Benedictines from Pomposa and progressed in fits and starts until 1553, with consecration in 1621.  Following suppression by Napoleon the complex was used as a barracks and a stable, before passing to the Salesians in 1930.

Major damage from bombing in 1943/44 resulted in rebuilding to its original design 1952-54, but the fresco decoration by the Modenese painter Ludovico Settevecchi was mostly lost, with just the Four Evangelists preserved in the pendentives of the central dome. Damaged by fire in the nave in 2007, restoration is underway.

Campanile
By Giovanni Battista Aleotti 1621, completed in 1646

Lost art
A large Scarsellino panel of The Wedding at Cana painted for the refectory here, in the Pinacoteca.

The dark and stormy Saint Mark  by the Cremonese painter Giuseppe Caletti, in the Pinacoteca.

The Adoration of the Shepherds by Dielai in the Pinacoteca since 1920.

A Circumcision of 1561 by Luca Longhi from Ravenna in the Pinacoteca since 1882. from the altar of the chapel of Santissimo Sacramento, where it was surrounded by panels of the Life of Christ by Nicol˛ Roselli, destroyed by bombing in 1944.

 

 



 

San Carlo
San Carlo Borromeo
Corso della Giovecca


History
Built between 1612 and 1623 to designs by Giovanni Battista Aleotti (L'Argenta) replacing an oratory dedicated to Saints Philip and James designed by Alberto Schiatti, for the adjacent hospital of Santa Anna. Closed since the 2012 earthquake.

The baroque facade has four niches in which were statues of Saints Carlo Borromeo, Anthony of Padua, Ambrose and Augustine but following  the earthquake of  2012 they were removed. Over the door two angels hold a heraldic shield. These angels were sculpted by Angelo Putti, and some have attributed the rest of the statues on the fašade to him too.

15th-century cloister in front which belonged to the convent of the Armenian friars of San Basilio and inserted in the first hospital complex of Sant'Anna.

Interior
Oval-planned with two lateral chapels central dome.

In the nave are stucco figures of the four doctors of the church, Saints Augustine, Gregory the Great, Jerome, and Ambrose, by 18th-century sculptors of the Venetian school.

The ceiling frescoed from 1674 are by Giuseppe Avanzi collaborating with the quadraturist Giuseppe Menegatti. In the central oval is the Virgin in Glory with Saints Ambrose  (or Maurelius) and Carlo Borromeo. The lunette over the entrance is San Carlo by Antonio Bonfanti who may have been a pupil of Guercino. (The four paintings of the Life of the St Carlo were painted by Carlo Borfatti!)

Lost art
The Madonna of the Rosary with Saints Dominic, George and Maurelius an early work by Domenico Tintoretto (see right) now in the Pinacoteca. An inventory of 1773 said it was to the right of the high altar.


San Carlo is no.16, left of centre in this detail from
the 18th-century map of Ferrara by Andrea Bolzoni.
 

 





 

San Cristoforo alla Certosa
Piazza Borso d'Este


History
A Carthusian monastery was founded here in 1452 by Borso d'Este, the second major Este monastic foundation, after Borso's father Niccol˛ III's Santa Maria degli Angeli. The monks moved in in 1461. A new church, next to the old one, was began in 1501, as part of Ercole I d'Este's Erculean Addition, which had made the monastery less remote from the centre of town, and completed in 1551 to designs attributed to court architect Biagio Rossetti, but not by all scholars. The creation of the Erculean Addition had been encouraged by how easy it had been, during a war in the early 1480s, for Venetian forces to attack the northern edge of the city and sack the Belfiore Palace, San Cristoforo and Santa Maria degli Angeli.

In 1799 Napoleon suppressed the monastery and it became a cavalry barracks. When the complex became the city cemetery in 1813 the church reopened for worship. Ferdinando Canonici's plans kept the cloisters but included the demolition of the first, early 15th-century, church to make way for the portico in front. A series of expansions from the 19th century on into the fascist era ended with the creation of the second great cloister in 1962. Bombing in WWII destroyed the campanile, the roof of the apse and the end of the south transept.

The fašade is unfinished, lacking it planned marble facing, has an 18th-century portal topped by the coat of arms of the Carthusian order, made to a design by Gaetano Barbieri by the Veronese Pietro Puttini and Francesco Zoppo.

Interior
Big, plain and pale and altogether Renaissance. the bases of the pillars along the nave have with marble bas-reliefs with the emblems of the Este - Duke Borso (paraduro/paradox, well, unicorn), Ercole I (diamond, oak, hydra) and Alfonso I (grenade).

The six deep chapels either side of the nave each have three rather ordinary paintings, at least eleven of the twelve painted altarpieces being by Niccol˛ Roselli and painted between 1565 and 1568 - the Infancy of Christ all down the left nave to the altar and The Passion back up the right. This is said to be the first such narrative cycle of altarpieces.

The wooden altarpieces are by Ercole Aviati.

The intarsia-panelled choir stalls behind the altar, attributed to Pier Antonio degli Abbati and taken from the demolished church of Sant'Andrea, have recently been restored.

Lost art in the Pinacoteca
A Death of the Virgin by Niccol˛ Pisano. A Noah's Ark (with a strange bulbous bottom) of the mid-16th century which has been attributed to Dosso Dossi, amongst many others.
Two small oil paintings on copper, The Last Supper by Agostino Carracci and The Collection of the Manna by Ludovico Carracci, formerly on the tabernacle on the high altar here.

A large canvas by Carlo Bononi of the Wedding of Cana (see below) painted for the refectory here.
Saint Bruno genuflects before the Virgin and Child, a copy of a Guercino. And Saint Bruno doing something even more complicated at night, by Sarsellino too.

 



Lost art
Tura's 1458 Saint Jerome in the Nat Gall?

Quite a lot of sculpted bits and pieces from the Certosa are now in the Casa Romei. These include a
15th century marble Virgin and Child from a monument in the small cloister here, attributed to the Florentine sculptor Niccol˛ de Pietro Lamberti. Also a marble tondo of the Nursing Madonna, uncertainly attributed to Giuseppe Maria Mazza, from the tomb of the Avogli family here, and a 16th-century Ecce Homo, from the small cloister here.

Opening times Daily 8.45-5.15
 

 





 



An 18th century print of the Certosa by Bolzoni.

The Cemetery


















 
 




San Cristoforo dei Bastardini
Via Bersaglieri del Po
   

History

Until 1268 there was an orphanage (abandoned children being termed Bastardini) with an attached hospital, called the CÓ di Dio which had an oratory. The oratory was rebuilt as a church in the late 14th century.  In 1408 church and hospital passed to the Confraternity of the Holy Spirit, who were here until 1515.

Restored after the earthquake of 1570 to a design by Alberto Schiatti, with the financial help of the Duchess Barbara of Austria, consort of Alfonso II d'Este - these last facts commemorated on an inscribed stone plaque on the fašade. In 1940 the complex, by now very much the worse for wear,  was acquired  by the Municipality of Ferrara and underwent restoration Since then it has been used at various times as offices, shops and a school. The church today houses art events and exhibitions.

Lost art
Ortolano's Lamentation with a Carmelite Saint from 1521, originally the high altarpiece here, is now in the Capodimonte Museum in Naples.
 
   

San Domenico
Via degli Spadari


History
Founded in 1274 and completely rebuilt between 1710 and 1726 to a design by architect Vincenzo Santini which reversed the orientation, incorporated the campanile and the old sacristy into the fašade, the sacristy becoming the Canani chapel. Became the resting place of Ferrara's elite and court-connected families. The centre for the teaching of medicine in the 15th century. The friars made alterations to the monastery from 1495 and in 1496 Duke Ercole helped pay for the rebuilding of the choir. The original choir stalls were reused and remain.

Deconsecrated and partly occupied by local government offices. The church is now in a sorry state, looking not to have been open in years (since the earthquake of 2012?) all fenced around, grass growing, windows broken.

The fašade features four statues by Andrea Ferreri - the Dominican Saints Thomas Aquinus and Vincent above, Saints Pius V and Antoninus, bishop of Ferrara, below.

Interior
An aisleless nave with five chapels each side. Fragments of 18th-century frescoes, by Giacomo Filippi, Girolamo Gregori and Francesco Pellegrini.

In the third chapel on the right are two paintings with the Stories of San Domenico by Mauro Gandolfi , painted in 1791. In the second chapel on the left is a copy of the Finding of the True Cross by Garofalo, the original of which is now in the Pinacoteca

The third chapel on the north (left?) side is the Chapel of the Rosary, with a polychrome marble altar, marble bas-reliefs of the Mysteries of the Rosary and statues of Saints Dominic and Vincent Ferrar, all by Pietro Bonatti of Padua from 1744.

As a Dominican church this was a centre of the Inquisition. The claw marks on a pier to the right of the entrance inside are said to have been made by the devil himself, in frustration after having heard one of his converts repent.

Carlo Bononi, Miracle of Soriano , c. 1620, from the fifth altar on the right, and Ippolito Scarsella known as Scarsellino, Madonna and Child with Saints Paul, Lucy and Francis, c.1611, both now in storage at the Archbishop's Palace, since 2012.  The Dying Magdalen with the Virgin and Child by Scarsellino is also mentioned (by Denis Mahon).

Lost art
A large fresco from this church, detached between 1930 and 1932, with Stories from the Life of Saint John the Evangelist, is in the Pinacoteca. It is by an unknown master, who is named from this work, active in Ferrara in the early 15th century.
Reported fresco cycles by Serafino de 'Serafini, CosmŔ  Tura (New Testament scenes for the Sacrati family in their Chapel of the Three Magi in 1468) and Baldassarre d'Este (scenes from the life of Saint Ambrose) are lost. The latter was a pupil of Tura who may have been an illegitimate Este offspring, probably of  Niccol˛ III, of whom it was popularly said  that ôup and down the Po, all were the children of Niccol˛ö.

A Lamentation painted for this church by Ercole de' Roberti is now lost and known only through a
copy in a private collection (see photo right). It was the main panel of an altarpiece of c.1490/95  whose predella panels included The Institution of the Eucharist and The Israelites gathering Manna both of which in the National Gallery. Another predella panel Abraham and Melchizedek is now also only known from the copy. The Last Supper-like central panel of The Institution of the Eucharist has evidence of a key-hole, so it may have been the tabernacle door. More panels, as yet unidentified, may exist. The altarpiece may have been made to commemorate Eleonora of Aragon, the wife of Duke Ercole I d'Este, as the pair of them, and her brother Alfonso of Aragon, are amongst the ring of mourners in the main panel, her husband as Nicodemus and her brother as Joseph of Arimathea,

A Finding of the True Cross 1536 and a Death of Saint Peter Martyr by Garofalo are in the Pinacoteca
The Virgin Appears to Saint Liborius of 1669 by Benedetto Gennari in the Pinacoteca since 1867
Figures from the 15th-century sculpted tomb of Giacomo Sacrati here by the Lombards Filippo Solari and Andrea da Carona are in the Casa Romei (The Virgin and Child Enthroned) and the Duomo Museum (Saints George, James, Philip and Anthony).
 

 





The Chapel of the Rosary, from a book called
'Pictures from the Italian Telephone Directories 1995'



 

San Francesco
Via Savonarola


History
The Franciscans first came to Ferrara around 1220/22, while Francis was still alive, in the shape of Bernardo of Quintaville. The original church, founded by Azzo VIII d'Este in 1243, was rebuilt by Obizzo III from 1344 with a gothic church, traces of which remain, attributed to the masters Armanno, Taddeo and Falconetto da Fontana. During the 14th century this church was the chosen burial place of the Este family. In 1393 Alberto d'Este commissioned Bartolino da Novara to build the Arca Rossa here, a family burial chapel.

The Renaissance church we see today was built following the demolition of the old one in 1495 by Biagio Rossetti, to the plan by Brunelleschi for San Lorenzo in Florence. The actual building, though, was contracted out to Bartolomeo di Regino and Andrea Fiorato.  Consecration followed on 17th November 1508, but more rebuilding was needed following the collapse of of some chapels in 1515. This took place from 1517-30 and more was needed after the big earthquake of 1570. This work resulted in the church reopening in 1594 and also did damage to Rossetti's original conception. Less intrusive preservative restorations followed in 1849-60, with work on the vault and pendentive frescoes of Domenichini later in the 19th century and work from 1954 replaced the terracotta floor with the current marble one, with work on the fašade too. This latter work has been described as overzealous and resulting in and leaving the church 'an antiseptic reminder of Biagio Rossetti's style'. Recent work has sought to return the church to its 'old splendour' and counter the effects of the 2012 earthquake, after which the church was closed, but has now reopened.

Fašade
Wide, brick and Renaissance in style. The doorways date to 1885 and are the work of Ambrogio Zuffi. The scrolls holding up the central upper level mean that the influence of Alberti is sometimes mentioned, because he put similar scrolls on Santa Maria Novella in Florence, presumably.

Interior
A Latin cross, a nave and two aisles, with Ionic columns. Big, very big - the nave is seven domes long and there are 37 arches - but well lit by Rossetti with two windows in each of the eight nave chapels. and many surfaces lightly decorated with fresco decoration, mostly in grisaille style. The figures of Franciscan saints and worthies in the frieze above the arches and in the aisle vaults, are by Gabriele Bonaccioli, Angelo Bonacossi and Tommaso Carpi, local artists in the 16th century, with a later cycle added by Girolamo da Carpi. Then came Girolamo Dominichini who painted the four large arches of the cross and the twenty-eight pendentives of the dome in the nave.
The church is dominated by some very ordinary art, mostly from the 16th and 17th centuries, and many copies of panels by Garofolo, the originals of which are  now in the Pinacoteca, but a couple of his works in fresco remain.

Left aisle
Much work in the church in recent years, after the earthquake of 2012, still continuing in the first four chapels on the left. The first, commissioned by Francesco Massa di Argenta, has a high relief of 1521 of the Agony in the Garden, by Cristoforo Borgognoni and Battista Rizzi from Milan. The altarpiece and Annunciation are by them too. But the two kneeling donors (Cristoforo and his wife), the two grisaille prophets (Zaccharias and Jeremiah) and a fresco of The Taking of Christ (1524) are by Garofalo. During the restoration of the latter its sinopia was discovered, confirming the dating.
The third chapel has a copy of Garofolo's Resurrection of Lazarus (the original, painted for this church in 1534, is now in the Pinacoteca) by Girolamo Domenichini. The forth has a copy of Garofalo's Rest on the Flight into Egypt by Giovanni Fei, the original being now in the Pinacoteca.
The sixth chapel has a 1598 copy by Scarsellino of The Apparition of the Virgin to Giulia Muzzarelli  by Girolamo da Carpi, the original is now in Washington. The seventh has an altarpiece of the Rest on the Flight to Egypt by Scarsellino.
In the north aisle is a polychrome wood PietÓ attributed to Alfonso Lombardo.
The triptych behind the high altar depicts the Resurrection, Ascension and Deposition by Domenico Mona (1580-1583). Below are five small panels of Franciscan saints by Nicol˛ Roselli.

Right aisle
Between the 6th and 7th chapels on the right is a Flagellation with a sculpted terracotta Christ at the Column and two frescoed flagellant figures which are sometimes attributed to Garofolo.
The next chapel, the chapel of Our Lady of the Pilaster, has a Virgin and Saints copy of an original by Garofalo (?Virgin and Child with Saints John the Baptist and Jerome and the donor Trotti 1517?see Lost art), now in the Pinacoteca. There are two more copies of Garofolo paintings in chapels nearby - a Massacre of the Innocents  dated 1519 (a copy by Giovanni Pagliarini) from the forth (Festini) chapel and an Adoration, both originals now in the Pinacoteca.
The last chapel on the right, dedicated to Saint Anthony of Padua, has some good and tantalising fresco fragments from the earlier gothic church by Fino and Bernardino Marsigli.

The far right transept chapel is dedicated to San Giuseppe da Copertina, a new one on me, with three panels by Mazzoni(?). The next to the left has a 13th-century Byzantine Madonna delle Grazia panel.

LOOK FOR The baroque cenotaph of marchese Ghiron Francesco Villa, a Ferrarese condottieri who lead armies c.1668 for Venice in the ill-fated defence of Candia against the Ottomans. The memorial has a statue of the Marchese by Emanuel Tesauro and bas-reliefs depicting his feats as a general.

Este burials
In the Arca Rossa, made of red Verona marble and dedicated to the Virgin and Saint George.  from Marchese Azzo IX to Alberto III and their wives. Internments include Obizzo II d'Este, and Nicol˛ d'Este, son of Leonello d'Este, executed after an unsuccessful coup in 1476. Ercole, who had once tried to poison him, had him sewn back together and buried here. Also the ill-fated lovers Ugo d'Este and Parisina Malatesta

Campanile
To the left of the apse. Now a 31 metre high stump, having been built in the 17th century to be the tallest in Ferrara, but then having to be more than half demolished as it had begun to lean dangerously in the direction of the church

Lost art
A very damaged 14th century gable-shaped fresco attributed to Francesco da Rimini, from the old refectory here, is in the Pinacoteca.

Cosimo Tura's St Jerome, now in the National Gallery, has been reported as from this church.

A Saint Francis Receives the Stigmata with Saints Peter, James and Louis, from the early 16th century, by Calzolaretto (Gabriele Cappellini) a pupil of Dosso Dossi, in the Pinacoteca since 1865.

Many by Garofolo. His Resurrection of Lazarus (see right) from the Bonaccossi chapel and a Virgin and Child Enthroned with Saints Jerome, John the B, Anthony of Padua, another saint, and Lodovica Trotti (Madonna del Pilastro) of 1532 have been in the Pinacoteca since 1864. As has his Nativity of 1512 from the sixth chapel on the left here.

Also by Garofalo, a relatively non-stabby Massacre of the Innocents main altarpiece panel, dated 1519, with a Rest on the Flight lunette, from an altarpiece once in the Festini chapel, fourth on the right. Also a Circumcision predella panel from the same altarpiece is now in the Louvre.  It is known to have been removed from the altarpiece and replaced with a copy as early as 1632. A Nativity and an Adoration of the Magi  by Dosso Dossi of 1512/13, in the Pinacoteca, have long been said to have been parts of the predella of this altarpiece. Recent scholarship points to their having been originally painted for private devotion, even if they did find their way to this predella by 1739 when they appeared in a manuscript guide to this church. A Rest on the Flight tondo by Ortolano topped the altarpiece. As you may have noticed the altarpiece formed a quite concentrated sequence of scenes from The Infancy of Christ.

The Apparition of the Virgin to Giulia Muzzarelli from c.1530/40 by Girolamo da Carpi is now in the National Gallery in Washington, with a copy in a poor state by Scarsellino now replacing it here. Another work by Girolamo da Carpi, The Miracle of Saint Anthony in the Casa Obizzi, is in the Pinacoteca. Attribution to Garofalo has confused things lately.

Il Beato Andrea Conti by Giuseppe Alemanni from the early 18th century and an anonymous Saint Jerome from the same century from the Novara family altar here.

Opening times 8.00-12.00, 3.30-6.00

 

 









 

The monastery
The oratory of the confraternity of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin, built between 1498 and 1500 above the refectory here, had as its high altarpiece a Virgin and Child with Saints George? and John the Baptist, the so-called Strozzi Altarpiece, commissioned by Carlo and Camillo Strozzi from Lorenzo Costa, now in the National Gallery in London. This work has been ascribed to many artists, but is currently thought to have been either begun by Costa and completed by Pellegrino Munari, or begun by Franceso Maineri and revised by Costa. Or not.

The oratory was also lined with late-15th/early-16th-century frescoes by Michele Coltellini, Baladassare D'Este, Niccol˛ Pisano, and Garofolo, amongst others. Fragments of these are now in the Pinacoteca.

Saints Anthony of Padua and Bernardino of Siena are said to have stayed in a windowless room near the street in the monastery, which had also been used to imprison rebellious members of Este family. Saint Bernardino had preached in town against vanity and the long trains of women's dresses, and fled after being made bishop of Ferrara.

 

 

San Giacomo
Via del Carbone


History

An 11th-century Romanesque church with claims of even earlier origins. In the 15th century the floor and roof level was raised. As it was inside the Jewish ghetto Pope Urban VIII wanted to close it down in 1627, but local pressure prevailed. Suppressed by Napoleon, it passed into private hands and has been a cinema for a good while. Restoration in 1935.

Fašade
Largely unchanged from the 11th-century original

Interior
Frescoed inside in 1465 by Buongiovanni di Geminiano and the presence of mosaics was mentioned by Cittadella, an 18th century historian.

Burials
The 18th-century historian Marco Antonio Guarini wrote that this church was built by the Pagano (or Pagani) family upon arriving in Ferrara. Among its ancestors was the first grand master of the Knights Templar, Ugo dei Pagani, and Guarini says that he was buried here. Also buried here were Aldobrandino degli Este and Ottolino dei Mainardi.

Campanile
Collapsed in 1821, damaging the presbytery.

Lost art
A memorial plaque to Ottolino Mainardi is in the Casa Romei, mentioning Mainardi's involvement in the church building and dated 1298.


 

 



 

San Giorgio fuori le mura
San Giorgio Vecchio


History
This was Ferrara's medieval cathedral from the late 7th century until 1135, with credible documentary claims that it it was built in 647 and so Ferrara's oldest church. It is called San Giorgio "outside the walls" because it's outside the city walls, built by Borso d'Este in 1451, while the Duomo, also called San Giorgio, is inside the walls. It passed to the Olivetan order in 1415 and was then rebuilt from 1473 by Biagio Rossetti, with reconsecration in 1476. Work on the interior in 1581, after the earthquake of 1570, by Alberto Schiatti unfortunately undid most of Rossetti's good work. Following cannon damage in 1708/9 there was more work in the 18th century, by Francesco Mazzarelli and Giacomo Bottoni and a new fašade, to designs by the sculptor Andrea Ferreri.

Fašade
The result of baroque remodelling by Andrea Ferreri in 1722, who is also responsible for the sculptural work. To the sides are two statues - Saint George as Bishop of Ferrara on the left and Saint Lawrence on the right. Over the door there is the stone relief of Saint George Killing the Dragon. On the crowning pediment is a cross on three hills with olive branches, the symbol of the Olivetans.

Interior
A three-bay nave and two six-bay aisles, with frescoes by Francesco Ferrari from 1690 century in the nave, aisles and chapels, including the presbytery. The decoration is characteristically Ferrarese, much painted grisaille architectural detailing, with fake fluting on the columns. Some trompe l'oeil too, with even some imitation open doors in the presbytery. No altarpieces of interest - the decoration is the appeal here, I think.


At the end of the left-hand aisle is the chapel of the 7th century Syrian Saint Maurelius, who was bishop of Voghenza-Ferrara and was martyred just before this church was built. His remains are in the glass case under the altar. The Holy Roman Emperor Henry V had a vision of the saint in 1106 and translated his relics here, which led to strong local veneration. He was made Ferrara's other patron saint (joining Saint George) in 1463. The painting of the saint's martyrdom is a copy by Gennari of the original by Garofalo, now in the Pinacoteca. In the right aisle is a chapel containing the miracle-working panel of the Madonna of Salice.

The choir stalls in the apse are 15th century and have been attributed to the Canozio brothers from Lendinara. On the left wall in the chancel is the 1474 tomb of Lorenzo Roverella, physician to Julius II and afterwards Bishop of Ferrara, attributed to Ambrogio da Milano and Antonio Rossellino (see right). The Roverella family acquired rights to the chancel chapel in 1475 and commissioned a huge high-altarpiece from Tura (see Lost art below). It is likely that the altarpiece was moved to a side chapel during remodelling in the early 1580s. CosmŔ Tura is buried here in a pavement tomb in the chapel at the entrance to the campanile. The high altarpiece is an 17th century work by Maurelio Scanavini, a pupil of Francesco Ferrari, depicting Saint George.

The monastery
Had three cloisters, but only one remains. Also a small theatre from 1739 used for concerts and sacred plays.

Campanile
The work of Rossetti, completed in 1485 and inspired by the new Duomo campanile.

Lost art
Two altarpieces by CosmÚ Tura, both long dismembered and spread wide. 
One from the 147os was commissioned to commemorate Lorenzo Roverella, who had been Bishop of Ferrara from 1460 until his death in 1474, by his family, who had acquired the rights to the chancel chapel. It was installed over the high altar in 1487, but moved to a side altar when the church was rebuilt in the early 1580s. Its central panel of the Virgin and Child Enthroned is in the National Gallery in London. The Hebrew inscriptions on the throne, from the Ten Commandments, are said to reflect Ferrara's prominent Jewish community, although Christ's head covering the second commandment, the one about the creation of graven images, has been open to various interpretations. The lunette which topped this panel, The Lamentation, is in the Louvre. The right-hand panel was the Virgin and Child with Saints Paul and Maurelius present a kneeling cleric, now in the Colonna Collection in Rome.  A fragment of the left-hand panel, showing the head of Saint George, survives, but it originally included Saint Peter, the saints presenting another kneeling cleric, thought to be Lorenzo Roverella, knocking to gain admission to the central space. These side panels were topped with panels, one of the Blessed Bernard Tolomei, founder of the Olivetans, and one of Saint Benedict. Two tondi, the Circumcision and the Adoration of the Magi are in Isabella Stewart Gardner and Fogg museums in Boston, respectively. A tondo of the Flight into Egypt  is in the MET. Arguments still rage as to whether these tondi were parts of the predella from this altarpiece.

The other is the Saint Maurelius Altarpiece of c.1480, produced for the saint's chapel in this church. Two tondi remain, The Trial of St Maurelius and The Martyrdom of St Maurelius, are in the Pinacoteca. This altarpiece in 1635 was replaced by one on the same subject by Guercino. The two tondi were moved to the church's sacristy and then possibly to the attached monastery. They 'came into the possession' of Filippo Zafferini who in 1817 gave them to Ferrara.

An Adoration of the Magi of 1537 by Garofalo is in the Pinacoteca as is his Martyrdom of Saint Maurelius, a copy of which, by Gennari, is in the saint's chapel here

15 fresco tondi of saints' busts by Girolamo da Carpi and Garofalo.

A Martyrdom of Saint Maurelius of 1629, by Guercino, in the Pinacoteca from 1836. Another version (?) of the same subject by the same artist, commissioned in 1634 and delivered in 1635, which replaced the Tura altarpiece in the saint's chapel, is in the Estense Gallery in Modena.

Opening times 10.00 - 12.00, 4.00 - 6.00

 

 







An illustration  from the 18th century map of Ferrara by Andrea Bolzoni

San Giovanni Battista
Via Montebello & Corso Porta Mare

History
The Augustinian Order of Lateran Canons had settled nearby in 12th century and then been moved from their unhealthy first site, the plague hospital (and oratory) of San Lazzaro, by Ercole 1 d'Este in 1474. In 1496 he gave them the land on which they built this church and monastery. The architect was Francesco Marighella but recent scholarship suggests that construction began in the apse to plans by Biagio Rossetti, although some sources say the Duke Ercole himself designed it. An earthquake in 1570 caused damage resulting in rebuilding by architect Alberto Schiatti, probably resulting in a smaller church. The monks here were expelled from in 1796 transferring to Santa Maria in Vado. To be replaced by the Benedictines, then the Somascans, who were expelled in 1810. The catechumens took over in 1821 and then from 1826 to 1834 the church was run by the Knights of Malta who made the complex into a hospital, before they moved to Rome in 1855.
The church reopened for worship in 1938 but was closed again after suffering from bomb damage and finally closed in 1954. Acquired by the municipality of Ferrara in the 90s the church underwent restoration. After the 2012 earthquake it temporarily reopened pending the restoration of the other churches in the parish of Santo Spirito.

Interior
Said to be the only church in Ferrara with a Greek cross plan and dome. Frescoes are said to remain.

The Deposition of c.1605 and The Beheading of St John the Baptist of c.1603, both by Scarsellino. The latter is unusual for showing the saint's just-severed head in mid-air and may now be in the Musei Civici di Arte Antica.

Local history
On 2nd February 1502 Lucrezia Borgia made her spectacular ceremonial entry into Ferrara as the new bride of Alfonso d'Este. The sounds of church bells, trumpets and cannon accompanied her and just outside San Giovanni a cannon startled Lucrezia's horse and she was thrown off, but she picked herself up and continued on 

Lost art
An altarpiece of the Virgin and Child enthroned with Saints Apollonia, Augustine and Jerome by Ercole de' Roberti (see right) had been brought here from the church of San Lazzaro. It was Roberti's first important independent commission and the first unified field sacra conversazione to be painted for a Ferrarese church. It was in the Kaiser Friedrich Museum in Berlin and was destroyed in 1945 in the fires in the Friedrichshain flak tower (Flakturm) where paintings from the Berlin collections were being stored to protect them from bombing.
 


A detail from the 18th century map of Ferrara by Andrea Bolzoni


 

San Girolamo
Via Savonarola


History
Land in the medieval part of Ferrara was given to the Jesuits by Nicol˛ dall'Oro (called Ziponari) who had built an oratory here by1378, and in 1428 Giovanni Tavelli da Tossignano, who later became bishop of Ferrara, had a church built next to it, which was then destroyed after the suppression of the Jesuits in 1671.

The church was rebuilt from 1703 to 1712 to plans by Giulio Panizza for the Barefoot Carmelite fathers who had been here since 1658. They remained until the Napoleonic suppressions, but returned  in 1821.

Fašade
The marble portal from the suppressed church of Sant'Anna two 18th-century statues attributed to Andrea Ferreri  in the lower niches, of Saint Teresa of ┴vila and Saint John of the Cross

Interior
Centrally-planned with a deep apse. Art mostly from the 18th century and painted for the Carmelites.

The altarpiece of the second chapel on the right, with "The Apparition of St. Joseph to Saint Teresa of ┴vila", and the frontal of the first on the left, depicting "Saint Simon Stock and the Virgin and Child ö, both by the Paduan Pietro Benati (or Bonatti).

On the second altar on the left is the Crucifixion in polychrome stucco by Pietro Turchi from the mid-18th century.

The high altarpiece "Saint Jerome in the desert" by Francesco Pellegrini also from the mid-18th century.

Saint George and Saint Maurelius by Bastarolo painted for the old church in the late 16th century, are now in the first chapel on the left.

Tombs
Alessandro Aldobrandini (1734) and the Blessed Giovanni Tavelli da Tossignano, bishop of Ferrara between 1431 and 1446, who built the adjacent convent of the Gesuati friars with an adjoining oratory.

In the old church 'The table of the high altar shows Christ born and sleeping, adored by his Most Holy Mother and by many angels in heaven who show all the tools of his barbaric and atrocious passion. This is a beautiful work by Benvenuto Tisio Garofalo' according to Carlo Brisighella, the grandson of the painter Carlo Bononi, in the late 17th century.

faces the house (no. 19) where Savonarola spent the first 20 years of his life.

Lost art
A panel depicting Saint Jerome (and a somewhat heraldic lion) by 'Vicino da Ferrara' from the second half of the 15th century in the Pinacoteca.

The unusual Virgin Adoring the Christ Child with the Instruments of the Passion of 1517 (see right) by Garofalo is now in Dresden. It was the high altarpiece here.

 

 



 

 

San Giuliano
Piazzetta delle Castello


History
The original church was demolished to make way for the building of the Castello Estense in 1385. By 1405 it had been rebuilt in Gothic style and connected to the Order of the Santo Sepolcro. Baroqued up inside in the 18th century, like the Duomo. Restoration in 1952 was paid for by Cristiano Nicovich, on the occasion of his reconstitution of the press association, employing engineer Carlo Savonuzzi. Long deconsecrated.

Altars were dedicated to the Albergatori (inn-keepers), Orefici (goldsmiths), and of the Arte dei Beccai (fishmongers, butchers, and restaurateurs).

Fašade
The doorway has spires topped by figures of Gabriel and the Virgin, with Christ in the centre. Above is an oculus window with an odd relief below it showing an episode in the life of the church's name saint, Julian the Hospitaller (San Giuliano lĺOspitaliere) when he murdered his parents in their sleep.

An 18th century guidebook to the churches of Ferrara by Scalabrini  mentions an altarpiece of San Giuliano by Giacomo Bambini and Cesare Croma; a Bishop St Eligio attributed to either Scarsella or Pordenone; a St Andrew by Bartolommeo Solati; and a St Luke by Menagatti.

Wikimedia Commons has a photograph of a ceiling fresco of The Virgin in Glory with Saints Giuliano, Eligio, Andrea and Luca, by Giovan Battista Ettori and Massimo Baseggio, showing the ceiling to be in a very poor state.
 

 


San Gregorio Magno
via Cammello (via Carmelino and vicolo del Granchio)


History
The first documentary proof, a mention by Pope Leo VIII, confirms that this was a parish church by 964, making it one of the Ferrara's oldest. Over the nest two centuries two rectors of the parish, Giocanni Battista Bertazzoli and Melchiorre Sacrati, presided over considerable work on the interior and fašade.  Further work in the 18th century instigated by Don Antonio Ughi, who had found the church crumbling and the rectory unsafe, involved  the lengthening of the church, with a new choir and a larger transept. Rededication by Cardinal Alessandro Mattei on April 13th 1788.

In 1932 the facade was restored to return it to its Gothic appearance which the 18th century work had spoiled - the pointed-arched marble and terracotta doorway and windows and the rose window were put back.

Interior
The walls were whitewashed in the 1950s.

The chapel on the right is dedicated to Saint Gregory the Great, with a canvas by Alberto Mucchiati showing him with Saint Clement.

The left-hand chapel is dedicated to Saint John of Nepomuk, in a canvas attributed to Giuseppe Ghedini. In here is the baptismal font with a marble basin of the 16th century on a base taken from the pier of the port of Classe, used as a dock in the time of Augustus.

The transept arch is flanked by two 17th century statues in niches of St. John the Baptist (on the right), and of St. John the Evangelist (on the left), by Antonio Magnani. They used to be in the church of San Romano. Above the high altar since 1958 has been a stone cave housing a wooden statue of the Madonna of Lourdes, a work from 1884 by the Bolognese Federico Monti moved from another part of the church. Although this church is dedicated to Pope Gregory the Great his feast (September 3rd) has not been celebrated here since being replaced by the celebrations of the Madonna of Lourdes from around 1864, barely six years after the apparition of the Immaculate Conception to Bernadette. This church is known in Ferrara for this devotion, celebrated on 11th February.

Campanile
Dates to 1092 and so said to be the oldest in the city and built for a local noblewoman. Romanesque up to the bell cell which has pointed arches like the doorcase and which date back to at least the 13th century.
 

   
San Martino
Via Fondobanchetto

History
A parish church first mentioned in 972. From the 14th century, it passed to the Benedictine abbey of San Bartolomeo which was outside the walls, and in the 16th century they undertook rebuilding, moving the entrance to the east and adding aisles with three lateral arches. They stayed until suppression in 1656, when the church passed to San Pietro. A few years later the confraternity of the Santissimo Sacramento acquired the church from the rector of San Pietro along with the adjoining ex-Benedictine monastery. Closed by Napoleon in 1796, the church reopened in 1810.
Today it is privately owned and serves as a car park.

Lost art
The Virgin and Christ Adored by Saint Martin and Francis by Giacomo Parolini in the Pinacoteca


San Matteo del Soccorso
via Montebello

History
A small oratory was built here in 1580 by duchess Lucrezia d'Este, with a hospice for separated and battered wives which later also took in repentant prostitutes. The church was rebuilt in 1755 by Cardinal Marcello Crescenzi with three altars, designed by Francesco and Angelo Santini. From 1758 to 1870 it was a parish church and officiated until 1910. It was then closed and, seriously damaged by bombing in 1944, was then sold and converted into warehouse. Since May 2019 it has been a covered produce market.

Apostles and Evangelists by Carlo Bonfatti, from the old oratory, were reported in in the church's presbytery in the 18th century by Scalabrini.
(Memorie istoriche delle chiese di Ferrara e de' suoi borghi: Munite, ed illustrate con antichi inediti monumenti ... Giuseppe Antenore Scalabrini)
 
 

San Maurelio
Corso Porta Po

History
In 1106 Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor had a vision of Saint Maurelius and translated the 7th-century Syrian saint's relics to the church of San Giorgio in Ferrara. This resulted in great local veneration of the saint and in 1463 he became Ferrara's patron saint, often portrayed in Ferrarese art, such as CosmŔ Tura's 1470 Saint Maurelius Altarpiece for San Giorgio fuori le mura, where the saint's relics remain.

This church was built, with its monastery, in 1612, commissioned by the Marquis Enzo Bentivoglio for Capuchin friars who had had to leave their monastery to make way for the Papal Fortress. Damaged by bombing in the Second World War.

San Michele Arcangelo
via del Turco /piazzetta San Michele

History
This is one of Ferrara's oldest, being mentioned in a document dated 962. At first connected to the abbey of San Bartolo, it later passed to the Cistercians of Santa Maria in Aula Regia in Comacchio. Rebuilt in 1479, this is the church we see today. From 1561 to 1767 the Canani family patronage resulted in the ceiling of the church being painted, depicting Saint Michael and the evangelists . In the mid-17th century, a Saint Michael was painted in the niche over the entrance. Closed and stripped of all art during by Napoleon, it however remained open and in 1806 it became a parish church. In 1843 the facade was restored and plastered. The church was suppressed in 1932 with worship moved to the church of San Michele del Ges¨ despite protests. From 1980 it housed a restoration laboratory and from 2012 has been used as an ADO charity shop.

Interior
The apse was added in the 16th century, the rectangular windows even later. The ceiling painting by Gregorio Gregori of The Victory of Saint Michael over the rebel angels remains.
 

San Nicol˛
Via Colomba 4-6/Piazzetta San Nicolo


History
The original church and Benedictine priory here was built in the 12th century, tradition claims 1103, and in 1183 it became a parish church. Rebuilt after the collapse of the campanile at the expense of the Pasqualetti family. After a rebuild completed in 1475 Duke Ercole I d'Este gave the priory to Augustinian friars from San Girolamo da Fiesole.  The friars began to rebuild, employing the duke's architect Biagio Rossetti, but the work was limited to enlarging the apse as the friars lacked  funds. The work was completed in 1499.

In 1610 the Augustinians employed Camillo Ricci (a pupil of Scarsellino) to decorate the ceiling of the nave with 84 square panels telling the life of Saint Nicholas of Mira. The friars remained until 1668, when their order was suppressed by Pope Clement IX. In 1688 the church and convent passed to the Somascans. Suppressed and stripped in 1796 by Napoleonic troops and in 1801 by the Cisalpine Republic.

In 1809 the complex became a prison for 'insurgents or brigands' and in 1811 it was acquired by the municipality of Ferrara. In 1820, wild beasts were housed here, and in 1825 the church and convent were used as barracks and stables by the Austrians, which use lasted until the 1930s. In 1936 a plan to reopen the space in front of the church was approved, so as to bring the church back to its original external appearance.

From 1984 to 1986 archaeological work in the Piazzetta San Nicol˛ confirmed written history, finding the foundations of the campanile, which collapsed in 1380, and traces of the old church, which had served as a basis for the reconstruction of the apse at the end of the 15th century. Also several burials were found in an external cemetery located to the right of the church, under what was later the sacristy, which was later still demolished.

Deconsecrated Currently houses a dance gym and an art school.
 

 
Campanile
The bell tower collapsed on 29 June 1380 and was also rebuilt in 1475. Demolished in the 19th century.

Lost art
A Noli me Tangere by Scarsellino from the Riminaldi chapel here, now in the Pinacoteca

The Saint Anthony of Padua from just before 1490 by CosmŔ Tura from an altarpiece made for Francesco Nasello, the ducal secretary. It is now in the Estense Gallery in Modena, but was still here in the 18th century.

 The 84 square panels telling the life of Saint Nicholas of Mira by Camillo Ricci (a pupil of Scarsellino) painted in 1610 to decorate the ceiling of the nave, were sold and lost after the Napoleonic suppression.

A plaque commemorating the expansion of this church commissioned by Duke Ercole I in 1476.

San Paolo
Piazzetta Schiatti


History
There was a parish church here in the 10th century. In 1295 it passed to the Carmelites. Over the next two centuries a monastery was built with two cloisters, with Renaissance-style rebuilding after the 15th century. Following the earthquake of 1570, rebuilding of the church was entrusted to Alberto Schiatti.  (The church now faces onto the Piazzetta Schiatti). Construction began in 1575, making it one of the last Este churches, the monastery was enlarged and the church was reconsecrated in 1611. Following the Napoleonic the monastery was converted into a prison and the church remained open as a parish church.
The church was closed for worship in 2006, six years before the earthquake that is blamed for all of Ferrara's church closures, and has yet to reopen. Looking a bit of a wreck in 2019, but with considerable work going on in the very clean cloister. Work seems to be ongoing.

Interior
Retains much of its original decoration. 16th/17th-century paintings and frescoes.
Along the aisles are 18th-century terracotta sculptures by the otherwise unknown Filippo Bezzi and Francesco Casella.

Left aisle
Descent of Holy Spirit by Scarsellino.
Resurrection and Circumcision of Jesus by Bastianino.
Right aisle
Birth of St John the Baptist by Scarsellino.
Annunciation by Bastianino.
Right Transept
St Jerome (under organ) by Girolamo da Carpi.
Presbytery
Adoration of the Magi, Conversion of St Paul and Martyrdom of St Paul by Domenico Mona.

Apse
Elijah Transported to Heaven in a Chariot, vault fresco by Scarsellino, painted in the 1590s.
Frescoes on one wall of the choir from before the 14th century.

Campanile
10th century and all that's left of the first church.  It was built by the Leuci family and is one of the few surviving defensive family towers left in Ferrara.

 

Lost art in the Pinacoteca
Sixteen 14th-century panels of Saints by a Maestro Veneto.
A 15th century
panel of Saint Anthony Abbot by an anonymous master from the Veneto-Emilia region.
Ercole Grandi? Niccol˛ Pisano The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian, with Saints Joseph, Job and Members of  the Mori family, in which St Sebastian's martyrdom is on raised ground and in isolation, as opposed to the more common effect of his standing nonchalantly riddled with arrows amongst the other saints.

A fragment of a 15th-century terracotta window frame from the convent here is in the Casa Romei.
 

 




A photo from Ferrara's La Nuova newspaper in 2013

The convent and cloisters
The first cloister (Chiostro dei Politici) adjacent to the west side of the church had been built by 1330. The second cloister (of the Cisterna or of the Clock) is mentioned in 1423. In the late 14th/early 15th century refectory and library were built, off of the cistern cloister. The refectory has a coffered ceiling and a band of frescoes below it, on three sides, dated 1506, restored in 1992, depicting saints, blesseds and other images. More fresco work from the same century  came to light during the same restoration work  in the room above. Following the Napoleonic the complex was converted into a jail, which it remained until 1912, when the prisoners were transferred to new prison in via Piangipane.

The complex was put to various uses. During the Second World War the wing on via Boccaleone was severely damaged by bombing. In the 1940s and 50s homeless families occupied part of the former prison. Some work was carried out after the war, but the first real restoration came in 1963-64, by the Municipality of Ferrara who had owned the complex since 1906. At this time the first cloister and the surrounding wings were spruced up for the police. More work later in the 1960s, in the 1980s, at the beginning of the 1990s and more recently. Currently the two cloisters house municipal offices, the Institute of Renaissance Studies and the Sala della Musica.
 

San Pietro
Via Porta San Pietro/Via Spilimbecco


History
There is said to have been a church built here around 952 and that it was subsidiary base for the bishop of of Ferrara, whose cathedral was then Saint Giorgio. A monastery was built here  in 1010, the gift of Bishop Ingone for the Canons of the Cathedral of Ferrariola .

Rebuilding in 1530, which included the reorientation of the fašade from west to east. More work at the end of the 15th century, in the 16th and again in 1745.


Following suppression by Napoleon the complex was sold and changed hands many times, being used as a warehouse, a gym, a ballroom and, as its reputation became more notorious, a theatre and a porno cinema, which it remains, called the Cinema Mignon Per Adulti.

The most important recent restoration work was in 1941, when plans to restore the facade faithfully were prevented by a lack of any good documentation recording how it looked.

Lost art
Two frescoes by Garofalo from first half of the 16th century, representing St Peter and St Paul, later detached and moved to the atrium of the Duomo. Also by Garofalo is the odd Crucifixion with Saints Andrew and Peter and the donor Bernardino Barbuleio (Carife Foundation), painted in 1544 for the altar of the Crucifix here. Barbuleio was a poet and grammarian and close friend of Garofalo,
 

San Romano
See the Duomo

 



Sant'Agnese
Via del Carbone
  Sant'Agnesina
Via del Carbone


History
A parish church since at least 1114. Documented in 1159 as a Benedictine monastery. Enlarged from the early 15th century including work on the the facade and the campanile.

On the floor in side was once an eight-pointed star, the symbol of Pomposa and its monastery, indicating burials here of Benedictine monks, but no trace remains.

In the 18th century, the prior here was historian Ludovico Antonio Muratori, who carried out major renovations. Later that century changes to the interior were carried out by architect Francesco Azzolini.

Suppressed in 1806 but reopened shortly after by the Pia Congregazione Artieri e Mercanti. Major restoration again in 1841, with fresh frescoes. Structural work in 1927 by the congregazione, followed by final restoration in 1936.

 


History
This church, dedicated to Saint Agnes, is known as Sant'Agnesina (little Saint Agnes) to distinguish it from the monastery church of Sant'Agnese over the road.

Was an oratory and a hospital, documented in 1365, with the hospital probably having existed since the 12th century. The hospital was closed in in 1498 when all the hospital functions were concentrated at Sant'Anna. In 1544 Ercole II d'Este decided to dedicate it to orphans. An upper floor housed the orphans and the sick and the lower housed the oratory. Renovation in 1766 - 67 by a pupil of the architect Francesco Mazzarelli, but suppressed by Napoleon in 1796 (with the orphans transferred to the convent of Santa Caterina da Siena) and used as a warehouse. Reopened in 1824 by Cardinal Odescalchi as a University church and run by the Compagnia del Ges¨, with the dedication to San Luigi Gonzaga. Suppressed again in 1859 and then used as a carpentry shop by the physics department of the University of Ferrara, it is currently disused, pending planned post-earthquake restoration for educational use.







 

Sant'Agnese is on the left,
Sant'Agnesina to the right
 

Sant'Agostino
 Corso Roma


History

The original church here was built in 1507 for the Bianchetti family. Rebuilding in 1566, the church had its first reconstruction. Became part of the Oratorio dei Sacchi  just before becoming a parish church.  Rebuilt in 1750, with aisles added and the nave elongated in 1791-1792. The Neoclassic facade dates to 1879.

Was scheduled to reopen on Sunday 9th February 2020 after three years of restoration work .

Interior
The high altarpiece was formerly attributed to Fra Stefano da Carpi but more recently to Jacopo Calvi, also called il Sordino.

Campanile

Erected in 1626 and rebuilt in 1823.

Lost art

An Annunciation by Bastianino and Ludovico Settevecchi from the 16th century, now in the Pinacoteca.

Vasari wrote
Giotto, returning to Tuscany from Verona around 1320, "was compelled to stop at Ferrara, and paint in the service of these lords of Este, at their palace; also some pieces at S. Agostino, which are still there". Not now they're not.
 

 

Sant'Anna
Ospedale & church
Portal went to San Girolamo

Lost art
A panel now in the Galleria Borghese in Rome depicting Saints Cosmas and Damian doing dentistry by Dosso Dossi from c.1520-22 was 'presumably' painted for the hospital/church here.

An altarpiece by Bastianino Virgin and Child and Saint Anne in Glory with Saints Cosmas and Damian from the church here
  Sant'Antonio Abate
via Saraceno and via Cavedone

Built in the 14th century by friars from Vienne, a French town to which relics of the saint had been brought from the East in the 11th century. By 1410 it was a priory. Rebuilt in 1584, suppressed  in 1796 by Napoleon, but rededicated, with major work  in 1864 and 1866 - the fašade was rebuilt by  Antonio Tosi Foschini in Gothic style. Only the 15th-century choir remained mostly unchanged.

Along the fašade of via Cavedone there is a 17th-century shrine depicting the Crucifixion, the work of Francesco Robbio, restored in 2000.

Lost art
An Agony in the Garden by Dosso Dossi in the Pinacoteca has Sto Antonio inscribed on its reverse, leading to suggestions that it came from this church.
 

Sant'Antonio in Polesine
Via Beatrice II dĺEste


History
Founded before 1000, the original monastery here was established by the Eremitani di SantĺAgostino on what was then an island in the River Po, before it changed course. This alteration involved reclaimed land and the inclusion of of this land within the addition to Ferrara made by Borso d'Este. Polesine means a tract of land crossed by waterways. The church that remains was consecrated in 1412.
An Augustinian convent dedicated to SAntonio Abate was founded here in 1249 for his daughter Beatrice who had decided to become a nun after he fiancÚ died. Beatrice adopted the Benedictine rule in 1252, died in 1264 and was beatified in 1270, when the convent here was rebuilt using material from the the nuns' previous church of Santo Stefano della Rotta di Focomorto. The cloister flanking the church here has her relics and marble tombstone (from which healing 'manna' is said to issue). More work followed in the 15th and 16th centuries.
Located just outside the city the church was used to lodge important guests passing, on on their way to visit, Ferrara. These included Bianca Maria Visconti, coming to meet her future husband Francesco Sforza on 26th September 1440 and Pop Pius II on 16th May 1459 on his way to the Council in Mantua.

Interior
The extremely interesting frescoes are shown by one of the 15 nuns who still live here (and are well-known locally for their singing, to the accompaniment of a lyre).

The church is divided into two parts, the public and Baroque western part with a trompe ceiling by Francesco Ferrari, and the older east end with the nunsĺ choir with its intarsia-work stalls of the late 15th century.
The east end also has three chapels with frescoes from the 14thľ16th centuries, characterised by odd, and Byzantine, iconography. The north chapel has frescoes from the early 14th century, very influenced by Giotto and represent the early life of Christ and of the Virgin.

The Visitation unusually includes Zacharias and the Flight into Egypt is unique in showing Jesus on Josephĺs shoulder, instead of in the Virginĺs lap. On the left wall, the Dormition of the Virgin is Byzantine in showing Jesus in a mandorla holding the personification of the Virginĺs soul.

In the south chapel the cycle continues, with the scenes of the Garden of Gethsemane, Judasĺs Betrayal and the Mocking of Christ on the left wall, all by the same school of painters who painted the north chapel. Christ ascending the ladder to the Cross, in the lunette on the right wall, is very unusual. From later in the 14th-century and by different painters (with more Bologna influence evident) are the scenes of the Dance of Salome, Christ in Limbo, The Crucifixion, The Deposition and The Entombment, also St John the Baptist and St John the Evangelist flanking the window.

The frescoes in the central chapel are mainly 15th century, whereas the vault is decorated with grotesques of the late 16th century by Bastianino. There are lunettes on the side walls depicting the scallop shell of Santiago de Compostela as pilgrims travelling there, along the Via Romea, departed from this church. On the walls are representations of the Virgin Enthroned among Saints, and of martyrs and Doctors of the Church. the Virgin and child between saints Benedict and Sebastian (1433) is by Antonio Alberti, a Ferraraese artist who Vasari said was a pupil of Agnolo Gaddi, which is chronologically impossible.There is the Stoning of St Stephen on the right wall, and the Coronation of the Virgin. Annunciation by Domenico Panetti. The wooden Crucifix above is attributed to the school of CosmŔ Tura.

Beyond the central chapel is a room decorated with a 17th-century painted ceiling panels and a 16th-century panel of the Virgin and the Mysteries of the Rosary over the altar, with a fresco of the Flagellation attributed to Ercole deĺ Roberti on the entrance wall.

Lost art in the Pinacoteca
Two eight-pointed-star-shaped panels of the  
Madonna with Child and God the Father, used as ceiling panels in the small dormitory here, painted by the Maestro dagli Occhi Spalacanti in the mid-15th-century. A panel of The Nativity and The Adoration of the Magi by the Maestro dell'Adorazione di Ferrara from 1450.

Three panels by Bastianino showing the Nativity of Mary , Adoration of the shepherds, and Assumption.

Lost art
The Lamentation (Milan, Pinacoteca di Brera) executed by Garofalo in 1527


Opening times Ring for admission, 9.30ľ11.30 & 3.30ľ4.30 or 5; closed Sun
 

   
Santa Barbara
Via Mortara and Corso della Giovecca
  Santa Caterina Martire
via Roversella/Piazzetta Dosso Dossi


History
A school for girls, with an attached oratory, was built in 1572, on land opposite the monastery of San Bernardino purchased by Barbara of Austria, the wife of Alfonso II d'Este for this purpose. It was then rebuilt and enlarged in 1588 by Aleotti, with the church enlarged in 1611 and then consecrated by Bishop Fontana. With the Napoleonic suppression the women sheltered here transferred to the monastery of San Guglielmo.

From 1808 to 1815 the complex was returned to its former use, but the church was deconsecrated in 1950 and the school buildings transferred to local government use.

The art from the complex was moved to the archives of Palazzo Schifanoia.

Lost art
Painting of St Barbara in the midst of a choir of virgin martyrs by Giuseppe Mazzuoli mentioned in an article in The Athenaeum magazine in 1846

The Virgin of the Rosary, which comes from the Church of St Barbara and dates to c.1700 when the prior of the conservatory, Domenico Gatti, built the chapel dedicated to St Dominic and to the Virgin. The artist is Francesco Ferrari who worked in many of the churches in Ferrara (such as the basilica of St George).

 

 
History
Founded by three sisters of the Marano family in 1290 and in 1298 adopting the rule of Saint Benedict under the Beato Antonio da Brecia. But the Augustinian Ermitani may have been here since 1227. Enlarged and rebuilt by Duke Ercole I in 1496/7, but land was taken from the nuns to build the Palazzo dei Diamanti and for the Trotti Palace, both on the Via degli Angeli and parts of the Herculean Addition. The convent was suppressed in 1796 but some of the complex having been used as a barracks by the Austrians, a veterinary clinic, by schools and as a natural history museum, with the church now used as a gym. Seriously damaged in the 2012 earthquake, the complex was the subject of safety and restoration works begun in 2019 and supposedly due to take 90 days.

Lost art
Late-14th-century frescoes. from a cycle of the Last Judgement, were painted over in the 17th century, revealed in 1930,  partly removed between 1934 and 1937, transferred to canvas and partly lost due to decay.  They are now in the Main Hall of the Casa Romei and were subject to analysis during a conference in Ferrara in 2017. They feature Saints, the Doctors of the Church and a Crucifixion.

 

 

Santa Chiara delle Cappuccine
Corso della Giovecca

 

Santa Francesca Romana
via XX Settembre


History
Building began in 1641 when Marzio Ginetti, the cardinal legate, laid the first stone, and was finished in 1646.

The monastery was suppressed by Napoleon in 1810 when the church passed to the parish of S. Gregorio, until 1816 when the Capuchins returned. The monastery was abolished in 1866 and the buildings passed to the state, with the church and sacristy sold to the bishop of Ferrara in 1896, the same year that the monastery was bought by the Capuchins. The Capuchin convent was suppressed again in 1987. The church is currently used by the FraternitÓ di Comunione e Liberazione.

Art highlight
Ippolito Scarsella (Scarsellino) Virgin and Child in Glory Between Saints Francis and Clare with nuns late 16th century/from another church?  Also his The Adoration of the Eucharist (1609
)

 
History
Originally a small oratory called San Giorgio della Ghiara, known as San Giorgino, built in 1569 by Olivetan monks from the nearby church of San Giorgio for their monastery here. Following the purchase of more land in 1617 the current church was built from 1619 to designs by Alberto Schiatti. Alberto had died thirty years previously and so it's possible that his designs were used after his death or maybe a mistake had been made and it was his namesake who died in 1664 who had been employed. It's more certain that the work was completed in 1622 by Giovan Battista Aleotti, who was responsible for the fašade and campanile, with the church that year dedicated to Santa Francesca Romana. The previous oratory becoming the sacristy. Renovation and enlargement between 1872 and 1874, carried out by Pietro Ghelli, funded by the impressive inheritance of the then parish priest Ernesto Baroni - the apse was reinforced , the choir rebuilt and the church acquired five altars. Rising damp led to need for work on the floor in the early 20th century. Between 1929 and 1931 the facade was restored. In 1932 the complex's refectory was converted into a theatre which later became a cinema. In the 1950s the Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence carried out restoration work on the the high altar and in the 1970s the stained glass windows were restored.

Interior
The first chapel on the right has the Crucifixion and the Holy Fathers in Limbo from 1614 by Ludovico Carracci which was originally the high altarpiece.

The first altar on the left  The Virgin and Child Presents the  rule of San Benedetto to Blessed Bernardo Tolomei by Giacomo Bambini

The second altar on the left is a Santa Francesca Romana Receives the Child from the Virgin painted by Camillo Ricci, a pupil of the Scarsellino.

The Renaissance-style Virgin and Child that adorns the last altar is by Scipione Azzi, an 18th-century artist operating in Ferrara. The stucco statues of the Four Evangelists, on the sides of the altar and nave are by the Ferrarese sculptor Filippo Porri in collaboration with the Genoese Tommaso Gandolfi.
 

Santa Giustina
Piazzetta Cortebella
 

Santa Libera
Via Camposabbionario

 
History
Some sources claim that the first church here was built in 800. A church and orphanage were probably here before 1000, the complex certainly was here in the 12th century when it consisted of a parish church and two hospitals. In 1583 it became the seminary of the Chierici Rossi and in 1721 a school for girls. In the 16th century the church was rebuilt with a hall plan by Giovan Battista Aleotti and enlarged with the addition of a campanile in 1769 . The interior was later made octagonal by architect Antonio Foschini and of the exterior only the doorway remained unchanged. In 1832 the nuns from San Guglielmo were moved here and in 1916 Augustinians. Currently the church is closed and some of the former convent has become private housing, although 12 Augustinian nuns remain.

Interior
18th century The high altarpiece is a painting of the martyrdom of the Saint by Francesco Parolini

the body and head of St. Sigismondo , King of Burgundy (more of his relics are in Padua) were kept at the altar.

Lost art
two small paintings by Scarsellino
 
 


History
A small hall oratory was built here in the 15th century by Cavaliere Antonio Angelici for the Augustinian friars from the nearby Sant'Andrea. The church was dedicated to Santa Maria delle Grazie, referring to a miraculous image of the Virgin to be found close to the convent of Sant'Andrea. This icon also had a representation of Santa Libera so locals began calling  the church Santa Libera or Santa Liberata.

In 1556 the Arte dei Muratori  (guild of masons) acquired the church and restored and embellished it. Suppressed by Napoleon it became a warehouse, stables, horse hospital, laboratory and, during WWII, a metallurgical workshop, until 1979 when it underwent restoration to become a lapidary museum.
 

Lapidario Civico (map Ferrara East 12; same opening hours as Palazzo Schifanoia)

Hours: 10-19 Closed on Monday - Open on Monday of the Angel
Annual closing days: 1st and 6th January, Easter, 1st November, 25th and 26th December
The Lapidary can be visited with the Palazzo Schifanoia ticket : click here for info.

 

Santa Margherita
Via de' Romei

History
The church was built c.1604 by Giovan Battista Aleotti, at the rear of the old Pendaglia Palace which had been sold in part to the Conservatorio delle Zitelle di Santa Margherita, who then began the construction of the church.

The complex was closed in 1796 by Napoleon and used as a warehouse.  In 1845 it became a old-people's home, following a fire in 1831 which damaged the painted and coffered ceiling. In 1848 it became the fire brigade HQ and was later a gym. until it passed to the Orio Vergani hotel institute.

The interior had frescoes(fragments?) by Scarsellino, Carlo Bononi and Bastianino. Also a late Gothic loggia to the cloister.

Campanile
Demolished in 1913 (see photo right).


 

 



A drawing by Aleotti

Santa Maria dei Servi
via CosmŔ Tura


History
Built in 1669 to designs by Luca Danesi, and finally completed, along with the attached convent, in the 18th century by the brothers Francesco and Vincenzo Santini. for Servite nuns after their previous complex, which they'd occupied since 1339, was demolished in 1633 to make way for the papal fortress.
 
   

Santa Maria dei Teatini
Santa Maria della PietÓ
Corso della Giovecca


History
In 1618 at the instigation of Laura Sighizzi and Cardinal Carlo Emanuel Pio of Savoy an oratory for the Theatine order dedicated to Santa Maria della PietÓ was established here. Luca Danese designed the Baroque church, which was begun in 1622 and completed in 1653. Closed and crumbling since the 2012 earthquake with services now held in the sacristy. In August 2020 it was announced that a project to survey the convent with a view to converting it to offices for the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Labour had begun.

The facade is unfinished brick.

Interior
Typical late 18th century baroque.

The choir has frescoes of the Life of San Gaetano, the founder of the Theatines, by Clemente Majoli, who also frescoed angels on the ceiling of a chapel near the presbytery, which also has works by Scarsellino.

To the right of the presbytery is a canvas depicting John the Baptist by Andrea Sacchi. The main chapel has a Presentation of the Virgin (Madonna delle Colombine) of 1654/55 by Guercino. (The painting depicting the Purification of the Virgin was commissioned by the lawyer Claudio Bertazzoli for his family chapel in the church in 1654, with the final payment recorded the following year. The painting remains in the church today, the third altar on the left. Purification same as Presentation!) Sant'Andrea Avellino was painted by Camillo Ricci. The ceiling of the sacristy is frescoed with a Glory of San Gaetano by Alessandro Naselli. In the first chapel is a San Gregorio by Francesco Costanzo Catanio. Another chapel has a San Gaetano and a Resurrection by Alfonso Rivarola known as il Chenda. Also a mystery artist  Abramo Scoccese (Scottish) has a Transit of St. Joseph here.

Nave walls? have canvases depicting the Life of San Gaetano by Cesare Mezzogori. He also painted friezes of chiaroscuro angels on the ceiling and canvases around the Altar of the Purification of the Virgin. The latter work being completed by Giovanni Battista Felletti, who painted a San Gaetano and the Child.

Under the altar of St John the Baptist are the remains of San Secondino, Bishop and Martyr and in the chapel of the Virgin of the Graces, the relics of San Faustino Martire, both transported here supposedly from the Cemetery of Santa Lucina in Via Aurelia outside Rome. General Antonio Domenico Balbiani is buried in the last chapel. He defended Ferrara for Pope Clement XI and was named Grand Prior of Armenia and Grand Admiral of Malta.

Some of the marble used to decorate the interior came from the Delizia di Belfiore, the famed palace of the Este.

The oratory
The oratory of the Theatines next door has more art. The high altarpiece was a Santissima Virgin by Costanzo Cattani. In the walls of the oratory were canvases depicting an Annunciation by Giovanni Braccioli; a Purification at the Temple by Camillo Setti; a Flight to Egypt by Alessandro Naselli, and others by Tommaso Capitanelli. The ceiling was painted by Francesco Ferrari.

 

   

Santa Maria del Suffragio
via San Romano


History
Built in 1623 as an oratory for the Confraternita del Suffragio by the brotherhood's founder, also the canon of the Cathedral and vicar of the church of San Romano up the road. Rebuilt in 1750 by Gaetano Barbieri.

Interior
An aisleless hall nave with two side altars -  sweet little square grey Baroque interior, with a deep choir, stained glass, every surface decorated, mostly in a grisaille way, and subtly gilded.
The vault decoration is the work of local early-18th century artist Giuseppe Facchinetti with the central painting by Ettore Parolini.
The vault of the presbytery and the choir has paintings by Alessandro Turchi. A niche in the choir has a Virgin and Child by Lorenzo Gherri.  Over the left altar is a Marriage of the Virgin by Leonello Bononi from c.1630. Over the altar on the right is the venerated Pieta (called the Madonna della Racchetta) placed here in 1808 having been originally located in the nearby via Vespergolo and then in the church of San Romano. It is framed with a marble neoclassical bas-relief  from 1832 by the brothers Francesco and Mansueto Vidoni through which the Madonna della Racchetta is viewed as through a porthole (see the right side of the photo left). At the same altar the Blessed Alberto Marvelli, a local engineer and politician beatified in 2004, has been revered since 2003.

Art by F Parolini, Lorenzo Gherri, P Turchi, Giovan Battista Ettori

The organ on the counter-fašade, dated 1551 , is the work of Giovanni Cipri and came from Sant'Antonio in Polesine
 

Santa Maria della Consolazione
via Mortara

History
This church marks the spot where a nobleman from Ferrara, on his way to one of his farms outside the city in 1189, ran into some bandits and after appealing to the Virgin Mary for assistance escaped unharmed. He rode home and returned with a painting of the Virgin. In 1189 a small oratory was built to house the image of the Virgin and miraculous healings duly followed. (This image is no longer to be found here)

As the oratory's popularity grew Duke Ercole I was asked to finance the building of a church next to the oratory. So on April 5th 1501 the first stone was laid by the Duke, to designs by Biagio Rossetti it is very tentatively claimed, with the work completed on March 16, 1516 and the miraculous icon installed the same year. Consecration, however, didn't happen until September 1524.  A convent was also built from 1500 for the Servites, inspired by the preaching of Fra Marino Baldi at the Duomo that year. A Fra Marino was confessor to Sigismondo was buried here in 1518.

Marfisa d'Este was buried here in 1608, but her tomb was later moved to the Certosa. In 1781 the convent was suppressed by Pope Pius VI decreed the suppression of the convent, with the church passing to parish use. In 1883 the church was closed for worship and put to various uses -  as stables, a military warehouse (in 1877), a garage for funeral cars, a military hospital (in 1916) and a municipal warehouse.

The fittings and furnishings distributed among the other churches of the diocese. In 1964 the church and cloister were restored by the Ferrariae Decus association and the Ferrara savings bank and in 1971 reopened for worship. But the church has been closed since the earthquake of 2012, however a news report in September 2019 claimed that work had begun which was due to be completed in April 2021 'barring unforeseen circumstances'.

The facade is unfinished, the entrance porch was originally to become part of a narthex, as can be seen in its ragged chopped-off appearance.

Interior
A nave and two aisles in the apse dome is a fresco of the early 16th century depicting the Coronation of the Virgin, a work formerly attributed to local artists, it has recently begun to be attributed Baldassare Carrari.

Lost art
A
16th century plaster relief of the Virgin and Child in the Casa Romei.
 

Santa Maria della Visitazione (Madonnina)
via Formignana and Carlo Mayr

History
Built in 1526 to house the very venerated fresco of the Madonna della Porta di Sotto, by which name the church was sometimes known. The fresco had survived the demolition of  the Port di Sotto and the medieval walls by Alfonso I d'Este in 1510 .

The church was damaged by the 1570 earthquake and was restored with a rebuilt fašade by Alberto Schiatti. Consecrated in the 1630s,  it had passed to the Camillians in 1615, who were here until 1797. After Naploeonic suppression it became state property in 1810 and was reopened for worship in 1813. Again officiated by the Camillians, in then passed to the Missionari del Preziosissimo Sangue (Missionaries of the Precious Blood) and then became a parish church in 1957 .

Interior
A Greek cross with a nave and two aisles.

The Madonnina, is by an anonymous 15th-century Ferrarese master.  Saint Jerome by Bastianino , two paintings by Gaspare Venturini (16th century) and a canvas with a rare figurative subject, with Christ descending from the cross towards Blessed Lutgarda .


Lost art
San Carlo Borromeo in Ecstasy 1611 by Carlo Bononi perhaps the first image of the new saint from Ferrara, only canonized in November 1610. It is on deposit at the Civic Museums of Ancient Art.

Santa Maria in Vado
Via Borgo Vado


History
The church of Santa Maria in Vado, formerly dedicated to the Annunciation, is first documented here in 971, with an adjoining monastery. Called Santa Maria in Vado as you had to cross a ford (vado) to reach it, in an otherwise marshy area. On the 28th of March 1171, during Easter celebrations, Prior Pietro da Verona was breaking the Host when it turned to real flesh and he saw drops of blood fall from it into the apsidal basin. This was proclaimed the Miracle of the Prodigious Blood. This at a time when Albigensian and Cathar heresies were denying the miracle of transubstantiation.
In 1477 Ercole I decided to enlarge the monastery by building with two cloisters. The rebuilding of the church followed, when in 1495 an architect and painter called Ercole Grandi prepared the drawings for the fašade, the interior and the marble decoration. (Vasari mixed the architect Ercole up with Ercole deĺ Roberti, the painter, a mistake which was corrected in 1914 but which is still all over the internet and in guidebooks.) Some claim that he was a favourite pupil of Lorenzo Costa, others that he's a myth. This work was executed by Biagio Rossetti and Bartolomeo Tristano, with Antonio di Gregorio. The rebuilding finished, the church was reconsecrated on 18th April 1518. In 1519 there was further work on the interior by the builder Bartolomeo Tristano. Restoration work 1829-35 by Tosi to make the building safe, at which time many paintings were moved to the Pinacoteca.

Interior
Mostly minor 16th and 17th century art, the five highlights, on the nave, transept and apse ceilings are all the work of Carlo Bononi 1617, framed by 17th/18th century illusionistic ceiling painting by Girolamo Faccini, Ippolito Casoli, and Girolamo Grassaleoni.

Work by Bastianino (Sebastiano Filippi) and Camillo Filippi, his son, who painted The Annunciation over the high altar.  Organ doors? of the same subject by ?
Saint Omobono by Dosso Dossi and Rossellini, ninth altar on right.
Prospero Fontana?!

Works of Dosso Dossi, Bastianino, Panetti and Carpaccio are copies, the last two by Gregorio Boari,  whose originals, are now in the Pinacoteca. An Ascension by Bononi is a copy of the Garofalo now in the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica in Rome. There is a 15th century Byzantine M & C, called The Madonna of Constantinople in fact, over the fourth altar, attributed to Antonio Rizo.

The deep transept has the organ at the left end and the famous Cappella del Prodigio containing the Santuario del Preziosissimo Sangue, covering the right end (see photo right) a temple-like structure built in 1595. It commemorates the Miracle of the Prodigious Blood and the subsequent splashing of blood onto the vaulting of the semi-dome of the apse of the old church. The sangue-splashed dome was moved into the upper level here but with some loss of the miraculous stains.

Tombs
In 1696 Carlo Brisighella (his grandson) had a plaque placed on Carlo Bononi's tomb here.

Lost art now in the Pinacoteca
Saint Cecilia by Bastianino from the late 16th century. Saint John on Patmos by Dosso Dossi. The Death of the Virgin by Carpaccio dated 1508, from the baptistery (high altar?) here, where it remained until 1836. The Tribute Money, which has been attributed to many down the years, but now to Giovanni Cariani. A Visitation and an Annunciation by Domenico Panetti. An
Assumption of Mary Magdalene by Ercole Grandi. A Madonna and Child Enthroned with the Infant John the Baptist and Saints Agatha, Apollonia, Lucy, Helena, Catherine and Maurelius and Two Donors signed and dated 1542 by Michele Coltellini.

A Virgin and Child Enthroned with Saints Roch and Anthony Abbot painted for the first altar on the left here by the Master of the Twelve Apostles

Works by and Stefano Falzagalloni.

A Virgin and Child in Glory with Five Saints (see right) from the Da Varano chapel here, moved to the sacristy in 1933, and now in the Archbishop's Palace, since 1945, may be by Dosso Dossi, but is likely not. The identities of the saints changed during restoration work in 1983, when later overpainting was removed.  In the process the two female saints behind the foreground male saints lost a salver with breasts upon it and pincers holding a tooth, and so were no longer Lucy and Apollonia, becoming a mystery and Saint Catherine, respectively. Saint Peter, far right, lost his keys but is still Peter, balanced by Saint Paul far left. The central saint was thought to be John the Baptist but the cleaning revealed an inscription identifying him as Saint Matthew.

A Vision of Saint John the Evangelist by Battista Dossi, the younger brother of Dosso, in the Pinacoteca since 1836.

Opening times
8.30-12.30 3.30-7.00
holidays 9.00-12.30, 4.00-7.00, 8.30-10.00
 

 







Garofalo Ascension 1510-20 Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Rome
This panel, which comes from a nave chapel (fifth to the left) in the church of Santa Maria in Vado in Ferrara, was removed to Rome after the devolution of the Duchy of Ferrara to the domains of the papacy in 1598. In the same group of paintings transported from Ferrara to Rome were the Deposition by Ortolano, now in the Galleria Borghese, and the altarpiece with the Madonna, St Anthony the Abbot and St Cecilia, now in the National Gallery at Palazzo Barberini. By 1612, the work had already been replaced by a copy commissioned to fill its place in the chapel. The original later entered into the celebrated collection of Cardinal Flavio Chigi.

Vasari, who describes Garofolo's Ascension in his writings, considered it to be a fundamental work of this Ferrarese painter, who was closely connected to the church for which the painting was intended. Raphaelesque influences are evident here, especially when one compares Garofolo's work to Raphael's Transfiguration. Strong similarities exist between this work and other paintings by Garofalo dating to 1519-20, such as the 1520 Resurrection in the Archpretal church of Bondeno, and the 1519 Massacre of the Innocents.

 

Santa Maria Nuova
Santa Maria Nuova e San Biagio
Via Aldighieri


History
Local tradition reports a small lake here, on an island in which was built a church called Santa Maria dei Pescatori "of the fishermen". Nearby was built another, larger church called Santa Maria del Lago in 911. From 1138 it was called Santa Maria Nuova and in 1182 acquired its current form, documented as a parish church in 1278. Work carried out in the 14th and 15th centuries involved the building of chapels by the Contrari and Bonlei families. Later decline was halted in 1708 when the church of San Biagio, which was on the corner of viale Cavour and via Cittadella, was demolished. The parishes were merged and in 1709 a chapel dedicated to San Biagio was built in here to house a relic of the saint, his jaw, which is still locally venerated as a cure for throat ailments, especially on the saint's day on February 3rd. Closed by Napoleon in 1796, it reopened in 1812 but not as the parish church
At the end of the 19th century renovation work on the floor was carried out and the tomb of the Aldighieri family, thought to be ancestors Dante Alighieri, was found in under the high altar, along with traces of the wall of the ancient church. Dante's kinship with the Aldighieri is not certain, but the 15th canto of the Divine Comedy and a testimony of Giovanni Boccaccio mention the Ferrarese origins of the poet's ancestors. More restoration work in 1921, including a crypt to preserve the Aldigheri tomb, when 18th century work on the fašade was also reversed, returning it to its 15th century appearance. A  Transit of the Virgin fresco sinopia was found during this restoration of the facade and a Dante-related plaque, quoting Canto 15, was installed. The church returned to parish use in 1938 and bombing in 1944 caused major damage with reconstruction following and finishing in 1949. The 2012 earthquake forced the church to close. It reopened in late 2015 but restoration work continues.

Interior
Scarsellino Miracle of the Snow from c.1600/10 behind the main altar, said to have had side panels of saints and narratives by Mazzolino. A 17th-century wooden Crucifix by Tommaso Gandolfi .

Lost art
A fresco fragment of The Virgin and Child by an artist in the circle of the Maestro di Casa Pendaglia was detached from this church in 1952, and is now in the Casa Romei. Removed at the same time was a sinopia of The Dormition of the Virgin from the mid-15th century in the pointed arch over the portal. It's in the Casa Romei now too.
 


postcards

 

Santa Monica
Via Montebello


History
The church and convent were founded in 1515 by nuns from the convent of Sant'Agostino, with the help of Duke Alfonso I and his wife Lucrezia Borgia, to designs by Gherardo Saraceni. Consecration by the bishop of Comacchio Gillino Gillini followed on 13 July 1544. Following the Napoleonic suppressions in 1796 the complex became private property. In 1815 it was rented to some nuns, who had to abandon it shortly afterwards as it was reacquired by the Municipality. In 1869 they were able to return, but in 1950 the Carmelite nuns left for good.

V&C lunette over door by Garofalo returned after restoration work in 2015.

 

   

Santa Teresa Trasverberata
Via Borgo Vado/Via Brasavola


History
In 1739 five Discalced Carmelite nuns, allied to the Discalced Carmelite fathers from San Girolamo, began to meet in a house nearby. One house became four, and a church was built to plans by Gaetano Barbieri, starting in 1781 and completed in 1788. In that year the temple was consecrated to the Transverberation of the Heart of Saint Teresa of Jesus, the founder of the Discalced Carmelites. Suppressed by Napoleon, but in 1821 the nuns were able to return to their partially demolished convent with some  new building. Restoration work on the church from 1923, which involved the replacement of the old high altar with one made of white marble, and a second consecration in 1939. Decoration of the interior began around the same time, and was completed in 1931, by the Ferrarese painter Augusto Pagliarini, also responsible for two paintings flanking the main altar showing two scenes from the life of St. Teresa, with two tondi above of two Carmelite Blessed nuns.

Interior
A circular plan, topped by a dome and a lantern. Two paintings attributed to the 18th century Ferrara painter Francesco Pellegrini
   


Santi Cosma e Damiano
via Carlo Mayr

The church, an oratory for apothecaries, was built by the architects Francesco and Angelo Santini from 1710 to 1738 based on plans by Francesco Mazzarelli.
Closed in 1933 and later used as a warehouse. In 1986 it was bought by the Municipality and used to house magazines and periodicals from the (quite) nearby Ariostea municipal library. Damaged by the 2012 earthquake, in 2015 the church was purchased by the Romanian Orthodox community of San Nicodemo di Tismana who restored it and began using it in 2020. They paid, in instalments over 5 years, 175, 000 euros. They had previously used the churches of Santa Chiara Vergine and Santa Francesca Romana.

10 large life-size stucco statues of the Evangelists and the doctors of the church and four terracotta busts from 1736 by Andrea Ferreri


 

 

  Santi Giuseppe, Tecla e Rita da Cascia
via Carlo Mayr

The Marquis Camillo Zavaglia was intent on bringing the Order of the Discalced Augustinians to Ferrara and on 11th February 1623 they were given the church of Saints Simon and Jude a house to rent for the monks. Years of growth followed and in 1627 a license was granted to build the new church, financed by two benefactors. Four houses were bought and the new building was finished in a year, completed with further donations, including that of the Marquise Clarice Estense Tassoni for the high altar.  The license for the construction of a second church was granted in 1638, based on a design by Atanasio di San Filippo, but this proved to be inadequate and local architects Carlo Pasetti and Giovanni de Priori were employed.

Work began on 27th October 1638 and was completed in 1646. Between 1652 and 1656 four chapels were built, two on each side. Consecration followed on  17th April 1671 by Giulio Bentivoglio , bishop of Bertinoro, with the church dedicated to Saints Giuseppe (protector against earthquakes) and Tecla (virgin martyr). the late 17th century saw the frescoed decoration of the chapels and the installation of wooden confessionals beside the chapels, and the mid-18th century the choir and organ, all the woodwork being of walnut.

After the Napoleonic suppressions, in 1796, the convent was used as a girls' school, but was returned to the Augustinian fathers thirty years later. Following the suppression of the orders in 1866 by the Kingdom of Italy the convent was sold on 20 July 1869 to the municipality of Ferrara, resulting in the use of the complex as a boys' school. Various restorations of the church, including work on the fašade carried out by Gaetano Faggioli in 1880. The Lateran Pacts of 1929 saw the church returned to the Augustinian fathers. Bombings during WWII caused the collapse of the campanile and damage to the facade. In 1949 the church added a dedication to Santa Rita and in 1958 the campanile was rebuilt. Rebuilding work in recent years and restoration of the furnishings by the superintendency of Bologna.

Interior
Baroque, a long aisleless nave nave with two chapels each side. Has a wooden trussed roof behind a barrel-vaulted ceiling and a rectangular presbytery.

In the presbytery are five large paintings of various scenes from the lives of the saints The frescoes in the apse and the presbytery were painted in 1688 by the Ferrarese painter Francesco Scala .

The main altar is decorated with polychrome marble, to a design of the Jesuit Father Ippolito Sivieri, the urn of St. Ignatius the martyr is underneath it.

Much 17th century art and many reliquaries.

 

Santi Simone e Giuda
Via Belfiore


History
First documented in the 12th century, in 1278 the church here became a parish church. In 1422 it was reconsecrated having been rebuilt in Gothic style. The current fašade, though, is the result of restoration in 1904, which set out to reverse 18th-century embellishments. In 1735 the building, and an adjacent house, was bought by the Arte dei Marangoni (carpenters), who made big changes, including in 1760 demolishing the old marble altar and replacing it with a wooden one, until work finished in 1763 which involved the loss of the two Gothic windows of the fašade and creating a large window in the centre. The Istrian stone and Verona marble doorcase was kept.

In 1763 the church passed to the Confraternita del Sacro Cuore, called the Sacchi. A new choir was built later in the 18th century. With the Napoleonic suppressions the church and attached house were sold by the state to private individuals, which led to its purchase by Don Luigi Serravalli, who in 1815 gave them to the Confraternita del Sacro Cuore. In 1904 the engineer Lorenzo Dotti set about the restoration of the facade, back to its 15th-century gothic fenestration. During the First World War the church was closed again for worship and used as an army warehouse. Left to crumble, and bombed in 1944, resulting in the collapse of the roof. The unsafe roof  was demolished in 1998 and for more than two years the church was left open to the elements. In 2000 the Cassa di Risparmio di Ferrara took over the building as Confraternita dei Sacchi didn't have the resources, and in 2001 the roof was rebuilt and the walls strengthened. Further work, on the 18th century interior, was due to be completed in 2004.

Lost art
A high altarpiece by Scarsellino with Saints Simone and Giuda, painted before 1614, now lost.

A guide book of 1838 by Francesco Avventi tells of a high altarpiece showing the titular saint by Alberto Mucchiati, an artist it describes as well-educated but mediocre.
 

 


Santissimo Crocifisso di San Luca
Via Giuseppe Fabbri

It is said that an oratory was built here by Accarino d'Este in 450, but it's more certain that by 1128  an oratory dedicated to this saint was here, containing the wooden crucifix from the Capo Rete beach on the Po where it had miraculously run aground and been hauled here by a poor man with a thin mules called Luca Finotti. It is said that there was already an altar here which had been dedicated to Luke the evangelist by the Marquis Almerico d'Este in 930. So from this crucifix the church gets its name and it's still to be found in the apse here. It is attributed to Saint Luke himself, but is probably 12th century. The church was consecrated in 1135 by Bishop Landolfo. It was severely damaged by a flood on 22nd October 1654, but immediately rebuilt, very baroquely inside - in 1768 the high altar and apse were finished and in 1785 the current structure was completed. This work under the direction of  Don Luca Bonetti, rector here from 1760 to 1816. He also implemented the building of a long portico to connect the church to the centre of the city but only 80 of the 250 arches were built by 1776 and demolished in 1832.

9.00 to 12.00

Santo Spirito
Via Montebello
Observant Franciscans, built following the demolition of the Franciscan monastery of the same name was demolished in 1512 by Alfonso I improving the city's defences. This earlier church had existed in 1306 but rebuilt in 1407. Repaired after the 1570 earthquake.

Lost art in the Pinacoteca

The Madonna and Child with Saints Jerome and Francis (the Suxena Altarpiece) painted by Garofalo in 1514, in imitation of Raphael's Madonna di Foligno, is now in the Pinacoteca. It was commissioned for the Suxhena family chapel here dedicated to the Immaculate Conception.  Vasari described it as "the Virgin in the air with the Child in her arms, and below some other figures." The Virgin and Child float in a cloud infested with putti and musical angels and the two donors kneel between the saints and the landscape.  The dedication of the chapel suggests that the altarpiece's subject might be the Immaculate Conception. The Virgin having the Child with her is unusual for this subject but not unprecedented.

Saint Jerome by Avanzi.

A Last Supper fresco from the refectory here, with three lunettes of Old Testament figures, by Garofalo from 1544, removed and acquired by the Pinacoteca in 1874.

 


 

Santo Stefano
Via Cortevecchia


History
One of Ferrara's oldest churches, founded around 960, but certainly built before the 11th century.

Damaged by the  earthquake of 1570 and rebuilt larger with added side aisles.  In 1657 it was granted to the Congregation of the Oratory of San Filippo Neri who restored the interior and provided most of the 17th century art found here still. They were suppressed in 1796, but the church remained open.

The current external appearance of the church is the result of the restorations carried out in 1905 to return its Gothic style.

Bombing in 1944 resulted in  much damage especially to the ceiling frescoes (1882) by Francesco Ferrari and rebuilding and reopening followed in 1947. One of the few churches restored and reopened, in 2016, after the 2012 earthquake

Fašade
four circular rosaci, with two housing terracotta busts of St Stephen and the Virgin, said to have been installed during the restoration work of 1824, and one with the logo of San Bernardino. The marble doorcase came from Rossetti's church of San Silvestro at the same time.

Interior
big but not long, it's width accommodating a nave and two wide aisles three bays long with large brown marble altars. A pale pastel-panelled high altar, though in a short presbytery with considerable stonework crumble at the back. What at first you take to be printed A4 alarm warnings on all the altars in fact tell you who the paintings are by, in smaller type, but apart from an impressive Avanzi Martyrdom of Saint Lawrence of 1714 (third on the right) you may not need to know.

The high altarpiece is The Martyrdom of Saint Stephen framed by 18th-century stuccoes, by Virginio Monti from the 19th century.

The counter-fašade niches have statues of San Gregorio Magno and Sant'Agostino, by Turchi. Near the presbytery are two canvases of scenes from the life of San Filippo Neri attributed to Giuseppe Avanzi ( 18th century )


In the right aisle
(first altar) there are the relics of San Leo and an altarpiece by Giacomo Parolini (1689 ) with " San Leone Magno , Sant'Antonio di Padova to San Francesco di Paola ",
 (
second altar, but currently in poor conservation conditions)a canvas attributed to Antonio Randa ( 17th century ) with " Saint Francis of Sales approving the Rule of Saint Joan of Chantal "
(
third altar).  altarpiece with the "Martyrdom of Saint Lawrence " by Avanzi ( 1714 )

In the left aisle (first altar) there is a fifteenth-century fresco with the Madonna delle Grazie , which is in the background a canvas with the "Saints John and Paul " painted by Ippolito Scarsella ( XVI century ),
(second altar) a painting with "the Madonna while placing between the arms of Santa Caterina Vegri the Child Jesus "attributed to Ghedini
third altar).  a wooden crucifix from the 17th century
The church also houses works by Gandolfi and Paganini and one attributed to Cozza.

Campanile
Built in 1100 it nearly collapsed in 1275, did collapse in 1339 and was rebuilt as we see it today, lower and topped more gothicly.

Lost art
A locally venerated canvas of  The Apparition of the Virgin to St. Philip Neri by Antonio Randa was destroyed in the 1944 bombing.
In 1948 three fragmentary frescoed lunettes of The Life of Saint Maurelio, the co-patron-saint of Ferrara, by Vitale da Bologna were found in a small chapel at the base of the campanile here. They were detached, badly, in 1949 and are now in the Casa Romei.  Traces of a starry sky were also found and sinopias.

 

 



 



Teatini see Santa Maria dei Teatini


Lost

Sant'Andrea
Via Camposabbionario


History

Existing by 1070, the church here belonged to the cathedral until 1256 when it passed to  the Eremitani order of Augustinians who rebuilt and reconsecrated by Pope Eugene IV in 1438. Rebuilding followed from the 1490s (funded by Borso d'Este and the Duchess Eleonora) and in the 16th century, when the building reached its final configuration in three naves. The side naves opened onto nine semicircular chapels , while on the sides of the apse were two smaller chapels. The chapel of the Blessed Sacrament was built in 1627 by Giovan Battista Aleotti, and he was buried in it.

The Augustians were forced to leave in 1796 due to the Napoleonic suppressions. Around 1806 the cloisters were demolished, following use as a barracks, which continued. In 1886 the church was closed and from the roof collapsing in 1938, after a century of decline, worse followed with severe damage from bombing in 1944, and in the 1967 earthquake the apse walls collapsed. The church's remaining left aisle was demolished in 1969 to build a school. The campanile was subsequently demolished. Ruins of the right nave remain

Buried here were the ducal architect and engineer Biagio Rossetti (at the foot of the third pillar in the left aisle), Alberto Schiatti (who built San Paolo), Giovan Battista Aleotti (who built a chapel here), and Giuseppe Mazzuoli (Bastarolo) the Ferrarese Mannerist painter.

Lost art in the Pinacoteca
The huge, damaged Triumph of Saint Augustine and The Martyrdom of Saint Dorothy fresco fragment of c.1361-93 (the dates when the artist was in Ferrara) by Serafino dei Serafini from Modena are in the Pinacoteca. There's also a detailed
19th-century watercolour by Girolamo Domenichini of the Saint Augustine fresco.


Fresco fragments of Saint Christopher and Saint Sebastian by a Ferrarese master of the early 15th century, in the Pinacoteca.


A Saint Andrew panel by Domenico Panetti. Also four panels, of Saints Andrew and Augustine and an Annunciation pair, also by him from 1510 for the organ case.

The Old and New Testament by Garofalo - a large fresco from the refectory here, removed in 1841 and acquired by the Pinacoteca in 1846.

The Assumption of Mary Magdalene (the weird one with the large rabbit and the wingless acrobat putti) by the Maestro della Maddalena Assunta, from the very early 16th century.

A Guardian Angel by Carlo Bononi in the Pinacoteca since 1863.

The famous and huge high altarpiece The Costabili Polyptych of 1513 (see right), commissioned by Antonio Costabili from Dosso Dossi and Garofalo and in the Pinacoteca since 1846. Costabili held communal and ducal office, involving military and diplomatic activities, during the reigns of Ercole I and Alfonso I dĺEste and acquired patronage rights to the chancel and high altar here in the 1490s. His family palazzo (later nicknamed Palazzo Ludovico il Moro) was nearby.
The altarpiece is both a progression from the 15th-century tradition of Ercole de' Roberti and backward-looking in its multi-panelled polyptych format, possibly adopted to accentuate its monumentality. The central panel is a very Bellini-esque Virgin and Child Enthroned, with the young John the Baptist and Saints, flanked by panels depicting Saints Sebastian and George, with Ambrose and Augustine in the Spandrels. The pinnacle is a Resurrected Christ. The saints in the central sacra conversazione panel include Andrew on the left and Jerome on the right with John the Evangelist on the steps between them. Further back and murky are Joachim and Anna, the parents of the Virgin on the right, and Elizabeth and Zachariah, the parents of John the Baptist, on the left.

Triumph of Christianity over Judaism, fresco fragment, a small panel of The Mass of Saint Nicholas of Tolentino from a series of the Saint's miracles in the Muzzarelli chapel here, both by Garofalo and now in the Pinacoteca, the latter since 1846.

Saint Lucy adored by two members of the Sonzoni family by a Ferrarese master of the early 16th century from the third chapel on the left here.

Saint Catherine of Alexandria by Giulio Cromer in the Pinacoteca

The Madonna di Reggio by Camillo Ricci in the Pinacoteca since 1869

An Annunciation and an Immaculate Conception and the Glory of Paradise, both by Scarsellino and in the Pinacoteca since 1869


Lost art in the Casa Romei
A 16th-century marble sculpture of
St Nicholas of Tolentino attributed to Alfonso Lombardi, was originally in a chapel dedicated to the saint here. A San Michele Arcangelo by Andrea Ferreri and other parts of funeral monuments.

Nine fragments of anonymous frescoes, some from the 13th century, many from the 16th century, kept in the Room of David and Goliath.

The 1498 monument of Tomasina Gruamonti Estense, the widow of Azzo X d'Este was originally under the fifth arch on the right in this church. It is the work of Alvise Lamberti da Montagnana, a pupil of Mauro Codussi who later worked in Moscow. It was first moved to the Certosa cemetery and then to the Casa Romei in 1952.

Also a monument to Marquise Lucrezia Muzzarelli Brusantini, who died in 1679. A marble Archangel Michael sculpted by Andrea Ferreri between 1720 and 1735.

Lost art elsewhere
The choir stalls, with inlay work attributed to Pier Antonio degli Abbati, are now in San Cristoforo alla Certosa.

Lost art
In 1497 Fino Marsigli was commissioned to fresco the chancel.

 



An early 20th century photograph




A detail from the 18th century map of Ferrara by Andrea Bolzoni

Sant'Andrea is middle-right, the Pal Schifanoia top left.

San Bartolo
Founded by Benedictines in 869 just outside the city beyond San Giorgio, but in 1484 it passed to Cistercians. Building work at the end of the 15th century.
Lost art
Three late-13th century frescos by the Maestro di San Bartolo in the Pinacoteca.
 
   

San Bernardino
Corso Giovecca


History

A church and monastery of Franciscan nuns who followed the rule of Santa Chiara, Poor Clares) was founded by Lucrezia Borgia in 1509, then the wife of Duke Alfonso dĺEste, for her niece Camilla, the, daughter of the Duke of Valentinois Cesare Borgia, who had formerly been in the Monastery of Corpus Domini.

Lucrezia wanted the abbess here to be her friend Laura Boiardo, daughter of the count of Scandiano Giulio Ascanio Boiardo and Cornelia Taddea Pio At the time Laura had been abbess of Corpus Domini. From 1543 to 1573 Camilla herself was abbess here. Suppressed by Napoleon in 1798, the church and some of the monastery were demolished in 1825. Of the original complex only a cloister remains in the area of the old Ospedale of S. Anna

Lost art
Lots by Garofalo -  The Marriage in Cana (from the refectory), The Allegory of Old and New Testaments, The Road to Calvary (Saint Veronica), and The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes (painted for the refectory and depicting the abbess and sisters), all of c.1528/31, were bought by Nicholas I in 1840. The nuns had sold eight canvases to Pope Pius VI in 1792 and the Pope's nephew Count Pio Braschi sold them on.

All four sold to Nicholas are in the Hermitage collection, but the last one has been on loan to the Art Museum of Khabarovsk since 1931. They were brought together for a special exhibition at the Hermitage in 2008, the year after the The Allegory of Old and New Testaments was taken out of storage, unrolled and restored.

An Annunciation from 1528 (see right) is in the Musei Capitolini in Rome. The Immaculate Conception with Saints (see below) now in the Brera in Milan, a vary Franciscan subject, from between 1528 and 1536.

In 1531 Garofalo went blind in one eye. Hoping to preserve his sight in the other eye, he vowed to God to continue working free of charge on his paintings for San Bernardino.

Paolo Morando (called Cavazzola) painted an altarpiece for this church, the Pala delle Virt¨. It's predella must have shown Saint Francis giving his rule to the three Franciscan orders - the Friars Minor, the Poor Clares and the Tertiaries. The first is missing but the other two are in the Castelvecchio in Verona and Budapest.

Also paintings by Scarsellino, Dosso Dossi, Bellino, Guercino and Bastarolo.

 

   


San Bernardino in Bolzoni's plan of 1747

   

San Guglielmo
Via Palestro

San Gabriele
History
There was a convent here, outside Porta San Biagio, with a hospital, in the 14th century. It was refounded in 1489 by Duchess Eleonora as a Carmelite convent. Augustinian nuns being brought from Reggio and changing their profession. The new church, the building of which involved Biagio Rossetti, was completed on 15th March 1494. It was demolished in the 19th century.


 
 


History
A convent given to Clarissans in 1256 by Azzo Novello d'Este, having previously been occupied by Augustinian Eremitani. Enlarged around 1369 by Nicol˛  II when his niece Verde d'Este became a nun here. Suppressed by Napoleon , the convent was closed in 1798 and became a barracks, of course. The nuns returned two years later but they left finally in 1801. Some art went into private collections, some was destroyed or has disappeared. Fresco fragments were found in a  room behind the church were found and removed in 1933, and in 1954 and 1961 from the remains after the destruction of the complex by bombing during WWII. The area formerly occupied by the convent is now a car park.


Lost art
Frescoes of the lives of St Francis and other saints by the school of Antonio Alberti (Antonio de Recchis) were detached in 1933 and, much damaged, are now in the Casa Romei. As is an earlier - mid-14th-century -  fresco of The Agony in the Garden found in a tympanum here and detached in 1961.
An early 16th century fresco fragment on a Crucifixion by a Bolognese artist is also in the Casa Romei, having been removed in 1954.
A Garofalo Sacra Conversazione panel depicting the Virgin & Child with Saints William of Aquitaine (Guglielmo in Italian), Clare, Anthony of Padua and Francis (see right) from 1517 in the National Gallery was commissioned by the Poor Clares for the high altar here. It is thought that Guglielmo di Malavalle, who became a hermit, was probably the original titular saint of this church, but Garofaloĺs patrons must have supposed that their Guglielmo was the Duke of Aquitaine.
 

San Lazzaro
 

   
History
Originally an oratory of the Lateran Canons Regular of Saint Augustine, attached to a plague hospital in the suburbs, about two miles outside Ferrara, erected in the late 12th century with a joint dedication to God, the Virgin, Saint George, and Saint Lazarus.

Lost art
The San Lazzaro altarpiece by Ercole de'Roberti, possibly with Francesco del Cossa, painted for the renovated presbytery here, around 1475, was simultaneously Roberti's first important independent commission and the first unified sacra conversazione to be painted for a Ferrarese church. It showed the Virgin and Child enthroned with Saints Apollonia and Catherine of Alexandria in the upper tier with the Virgin, and Saints Augustine and Jerome at ground level, with their attributes, an eagle and a lion.
David and Moses inhabited the spandrels and there were Old Testament scenes in two rows below the throne, featuring the Labours of Hercules.
The altarpiece  was destroyed in May 1945 in the fires in the Friedrichshain flak tower (Flakturm) where paintings from the the former Kaiser-Friedrich-Museum were being stored to protect them from bombing.  The Friedrichshain Flakturm was in the custody of the Russian army at the time. 434 paintings went missing due to unchecked looting at the time or were destroyed in the flames - there was a second fire following the two weeks of looting. Only one of the lost paintings has ever been found - a  16th Century Lombard Virgin and Child was returned to the Gemńldegalerie in  Berlin in 2012 by the son of the US officer who had purchased it in 1946. More here. And here
 

San Marco
Situated within the city walls by the Porta San Marco. Founded by the Countess Matilda in 1099 and the home of Augustinian canons until 1476 when Pope Sixtus IV acceded to duke Ercole and the Duchess Eleanora's request to transfer it to Bendictines. Demolished by Duke Alfonso in 1506, with permission from Pope Julius II, possibly for the expansion of the Duke's garden.

San Maurelio
Piazza Municipale

History
Built between 1476 and 1480 for Ercole I d'Este as the court chapel and as a gift to his wife Eleanor of Aragon. Later work and enlargement, the church remained important for the Este court, since their bodies lay there before the burial. It later lost its court function and in 1693 was dedicated to the 7th century Syrian Saint Maurelius who had long since been one of Ferrara's patron saints, and given to the Unione dei Fratelli delle Anime del Purgatorio, who remained until 1893 when the church was closed. Later used as a warehouse, until 1915 when it became used for cultural events and film screenings, becoming the Sala Estense in 1917. All that remains of the church is the 1693 portale (see right) The statues of Saints George and Maurelius are by Francesco Vidoni.

Lost art
A grey stone sculpture from 1408 of the Virgin and Child by Filippo di Domenico da Venezia was removed from the portal here in 1916 and is now in the Casa Romei.

 

San Silvestro
Benedictine convent described as ancient, Rebuilding paid for by Ercole d'Este, underway by 1497 and undertaking by Biagio Rossetti. Demolished in 1512 during improvements made to city fortification by Alfonso I. Its main doorway went to Santo Stefano.

Lost art
Four grisaille panels of stories of Constantine and Sylvester by Garofolo and an Agony in the Garden altarpiece by him 1525-6 in the Pinacoteca. Also a Virgin and Child with Saints Sylvester, Jerome, John the Baptist and Maurelio from 1524 by him, now in the Duomo. 1524 also supposedly the year this church was consecrated, but it was demolished in 1512?

San Vito
A convent for Augustinian nuns dating from 1234 out beyond the Palazzo Schifanoia. Work on the convent in 1502. Later used as a barracks and demolished in the 1960s.

Sant'Agostino
Founded as an Augustinian convent for nuns in 1425 by Alise, daughter of Giovanni di Gallo of Ferrara, and not to be  confused with the later parish church in Corso Roma. This one was in the parish of SMaria in Vado and was consecrated by the Bishop of Ferrara in 1441. Embellished by Ercole d'Este in 1496 Suppressed under Napoleon in 1798 and demolished in 1813.

 

 

Santa Caterina da Siena
Via Aria Nova
Built by Duke Ercole for Lucia Brocadelli from Narni who had received the stigmata in 1496, and who Ercole had smuggled, in a  laundry basket, at great expense, out of Viterbo in 1499. This at a time when nuns were a popular focus of princely devotion in, for example, Mantua, Milan and Perugia locally. Bandages stained with the blood of her stigmata were sought by the court of France. She initially stayed at the Casa Biancha where Santa Maria della Concezione was later built for other nuns from Viterbo. Duke Ercole laid the first stone for a new convent on 2nd June 1499 and initially called the Convent of the Sisters of the Annunciation but later, after Suor Lucia had a vision of Catherine of Siena, was changed to Santa Caterina da Siena. Built to the west of Santa Maria degli Angeli, the complex was in a fit state for Suor Lucia and her 22 third-order Dominican sisters to move in on 5th August 1501, but work continued for at least two more years. Records show this to be largest and most ambitious of Duke Ercole's religious enterprises. Two cloisters of two floors housed 46 cells for novices and 95 for the sisters.

118 choir stalls by Bartolomeo da Modena art by Fino - much work, including frescoes on outside walls and also inside the church with a Passion cycle - and Ettore Bonacossi. This much painted decoration may have been at Suor Lucia's request. Suor Lucia fell out of favour after Duke Ercole's death, being accused of  "excessive ascetic harshness" and kept locked in a cell, where she died 39 years later. But a series of frescoes of her Life were commissioned after her death in 1542.  Her body was transferred to the cathedral, where it remained until 1935, when it was moved to the Cathedral of Narni. It has been said that Suor Lucia da Narni inspired the character of Lucy from the Narnia novels of CS Lewis. The convent was suppressed by Napoleon in 1796 and demolished in 1847.

Santa Lucia
Lost art

A Virgin and Child with Saints Lucy and Matthew by Bastianino from the late 16th century, is in the Pinacoteca.

 

Santa Maria degli Angeli


History
Founded by Niccol˛ III d'Este for Observant Dominicans in 1437 and initially named SM di Belfiore after the Este villa nearby. Changed to SM degli Angeli in 1439 and consecrated in 1440 but the campanile built later by Borso d'Este. His father had been buried in San Francesco but Niccol˛ was buried here in 1441, his son Leonello in 1450, his third wife Rizzarda da Saluzzi in 1474 and then sons Ercole in 1505 and Sigismondo in 1507.

 The church was damaged by Venetian troops during the war of Ferrara in 1483, who also removed an equestrian statue from from over the door.

This equestrian image, of painted gesso and cloth on a wooden framework, of Niccol˛ III stood in this church by 1447, but was removed and destroyed during the Venetian sack. It may have been associated with Niccol˛'s tomb here, or may have been a votive offering. It inspired Niccol˛'s equestrian monument opposite the Cathedral.

This damage, and the death of his duchess, prompted duke Ercole to rebuild the Capella Grande and add four adjoining chapels in 1494, work done by Biagio Rossetti. The creation of the Erculean Addition was encouraged by how easy it had been for Venetian forces to attack the edge of the city and sack the Belfiore palace, San Cristoforo and Santa Maria degli Angeli.

On March 4th 1501, according to Zamboni, Duke Ercole looking for locations for a larger church saw a comet land in the cemetery of the old church here and so resolved to build a new church, with the apse and crossing sited where the comet had landed. He laid the first stone six days later, on 10th March and the building of the larger church, unusually with ten chapels radiating from the main chapel. He would have seen it as a dynastic burial church and other important families, like the Bentivoglio, exiled from Bologna, were also buried here. This would have been the largest and most lavish of Ercole's church buildings, but it was never finished following Ercole's death and suffered partial collapse during the earthquake of 1570. The campanile was struck by lightning in in 1604 during a Mass, destroying the high altar and its altarpiece of terracotta reliefs, and on Easter Sunday 1664 the vault collapsed onto the high altar. The monastery was suppressed in 1796, became stables, suffered a fire, and the site was purchased and cleared in 1913. A handsome building of the early 20th century on the site of the church, the Palazzina degli Angeli, at the end of the road to the Certosa, has a commemorative plaque.
 

 




Santa Maria degli Angeli in Bolzoni's plan of 1747

Lost art
Three fragments of an altarpiece: Saint Mary of Egypt, some Landscape and Saint Jerome by an early 16th century painter from northern Italy.


 

Santa Maria della Concezione
Via Cisterna del Follo
An oratory dedicated to the Immaculate Conception, called SM della Casa Bianca,  had stood here since 1466. When Suor Lucia da Narni was brought to Ferrara (see Santa Caterina da Siena above) on May 7 1499 she stayed here for a few weeks and Duke Ercole ordered some work in preparation. He then decided to build a new convent here, entrusting the work to Antenore da Bondeno and laying the first stone himself on May 30 1502. A new church was built here by Ercole II but neither church nor convent survive.
 

Santa Maria della Rosa
There was a small church called Santa Maria del Guazzadore, with a hospital attached, outside the city walls, on the left after leaving by the Porta de' Leoni. It was so named for a nearby shallow watering place for horses and such. In 1466 the complex was occupied by Augustinians who had been living in Santa Maria della Misericordia outside Porta San Giorgio. They were described by Giovanni Battista Guarini (the writer of Il pastor fido) in his 1621 book about the churches of Ferrara as 'Ermitani of the Congregation of the Peter of Pisa, observants of the rule of Saint Jerome, now called amongst us as of the Rose'. Work by Duke Ercole involving the roofing and flooring of the crossing and the building of three chapels. Rebuilt in the early 17th century, bombed in 1944 and demolished in 1950. Part of an earlier cloister was reconstructed, however, and can be seen on the north side of Via Cavour.

Lost art
The Lamentation group of terracotta statues by Lodovico Mazzoni, now in the Ges¨, was originally here (see 1901 postcard below).



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