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

The Lost
 

Santa Barbara
Via Mortara and Corso della Giovecca
 

Santa Chiara delle Cappuccine
Corso della Giovecca


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. Now converted to holiday apartments.
The art from the complex was moved to the archives of Palazzo Schifanoia.

Lost art
A
painting of Saint Barbara and a Choir of Virgin Martyrs by Giuseppe Mazzuoli is mentioned in an article in The Athenaeum magazine in 1846.

The Virgin of the Rosary by
Francesco Ferrari from c.1700, when the prior of the conservatory, Domenico Gatti, built the chapel dedicated to Saint Dominic and to the Virgin.
 

 


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 and in 1810 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 Fraternità di Comunione e Liberazione.

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


 

Santa Caterina Martire
via Roversella/Piazzetta Dosso Dossi

History
Founded, according to legend, 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. Surviving a fire in 1345 and the plundering Venetians in 1478, the complex was 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, the headquarters of the Napoleonic Royal Gendarmerie and in 1813 as a military hospital. Later uses include a veterinary clinic, by schools and as a natural history museum.
 Work in the 1930 and 1960s has left the complex looking very institutional. 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. The church is now a gym and the complex still houses a school, judging by the graffiti, but nothing approximating a church is visible. The complex recently featured on property websites, with suggestions of possible conversion to tourist accommodation.





Lost art
Late-14th-century frescoes, including a Last Judgement, were painted over in the 17th century and revealed in 1930, 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 also include saints, the Doctors of the Church and a large Giottesque Crucifixion (see left). The latter is missing three Marys, including the Virgin, who are now in a private collection, this fragment being reinserted with a projection in the gallery. Other frescos went to the Pinacoteca.
Sebastiano Filippi (Bastianino) a large altarpiece of  The Living Cross from 1565-1570, for this church, now in Berlin (see right).

 







 

Santa Francesca Romana
via XX Settembre

  Santa Giustina
Piazzetta Cortebella

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 that 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 façade and campanile, with the church that year dedicated to Santa Francesca Romana. The previous oratory became 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 altarpiece on the left is The Virgin and Child Presents the  rule of San Benedetto to Blessed Bernardo Tolomei by Giacomo Bambini
The second altarpiece 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.
 
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. The church recently came back into use and some of the former convent has become private housing, although 12 Augustinian nuns are said to remain.

Interior
18th century. The high altarpiece is a painting of The Martyrdom of Saint Justina by Francesco Parolini.
The body and head of Saint Sigismondo, King of Burgundy were kept at the altar. More of his relics are in Padua.

Lost art
Two small paintings by Scarsellino.

Opening times For services
 

Santa Libera
Via Camposabbionario

  Santa Lucia
via Ariosto


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 the Ferrara lapidary museum, containing ancient sacorphagi.

Lapidario Civico Hours 10.00 - 7.00  Closed on Monday

The Lapidary can be visited on a  joint ticket with the Palazzo Schifanoia.
 


History

Built 1537-82, the church of an Augustinian, or possibly Dominican monastery, its building involving Duke Ercole II d'Este . The convent was closed in 1903, becoming the Umberto I orphanage  with the church remaining open. The complex has undergone restoration to become a student residence.

Lost art

A Virgin and Child with Saints Lucy and Matthew and an angel  by Bastianino from c.1582, is in the Pinacoteca.

 

Santa Margherita
Via de' Romei

History
The church was built c.1604 to plans 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 an 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).

Opening times Currently closed

 






 


A drawing by Aleotti
 

Santa Maria dei Servi
via Cosmè 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, had been demolished in 1633 to make way for the papal fortress. Now being used by a Ukranian Orthadox Byzantine congregation.


Lost art
A Nativity with Saints by Ortolano from the 1520s (see right) went to Rome in 1527. It is now in the Galleria Doria Pamphilj there.  It was later replaced here by a copy, which a guide of 1770 records as then located in the sacristy.

Opening times For services








 

Santa Maria dei Teatini
Santa Maria della Pietà
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 Pietà 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 oratory. 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.

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 presbytery has a Presentation of the Virgin (Madonna delle Colombine) of 1654/55 by Guercino. It was commissioned by the lawyer Claudio Bertazzoli for his family chapel in the church in 1654, with the final payment recorded the following year. I've also read that 'The painting remains in the church today, the third altar on the left'.
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.
The 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.
Some of the marble used to decorate the interior came from the Delizia di Belfiore, the famed palace of the Este.

Relics and  tombs
Under the altar of Saint John the Baptist are the remains of San Secondino, Bishop and Martyr and in the chapel of the Virgin of the Graces, are 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.

The oratory
The oratory of the Theatines, which has a door on via Cairoli has more art. The high altarpiece is a Santissima Virgin by Costanzo Cattani. In the walls of the oratory are 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.

Opening times Currently closed
 

 


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
visited
An aisleless hall nave with two side altars -  a sweet little square grey Baroque interior, with a deep choir, stained glass, every surface decorated, mostly in a grisaille way, and subtly gilded.
The nave 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-façade, 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 for assistance escaped unharmed. He rode home and returned with a painting of the Virgin. In 1189 a small oratory was built to house this 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 who 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, 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 were 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. The church has been closed since the earthquake of 2012, but a news report in September 2019 claimed that work had begun which was due to be completed in April 2021 'barring unforeseen circumstances'.

The façade
Unfinished. The entrance porch was originally to become part of a narthex, as can be seen in its ragged chopped-off appearance at the sides.

Interior
A nave and two aisles, in the apse dome is a fresco from 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 is in the Casa Romei.

Opening times Currently closed
 

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 façade 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, it 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.

Art

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

Lost art
A Deposition by Ortolano from 1515, now in the Galleria Borghese in Rome, was removed from this church in 1607 following Ferrara's passing to the papacy, and replaced by a copy.
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.

Opening times
For services
 

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. It's called Santa Maria in Vado as you had to cross a ford (vado) to reach it, in a then 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 drops of blood flew from it up into the apse dome. This was proclaimed the Miracle of the Prodigious Blood. This being at a time when Albigensian and Cathar heresies were denying the miracle of transubstantiation.
In 1477 Ercole I decided to enlarge the monastery by adding two cloisters. The rebuilding of the church followed, when in 1495 an architect and painter called Ercole Grandi prepared the drawings for the façade, the interior and the marble decoration. (Vasari mixed the architect Ercole up with Ercole de’ Roberti, the painter, a mistake which was corrected in 1914 but which is still all over the internet and in guidebooks.) Some claim that Ercole Grandi was a favourite pupil of Lorenzo Costa, others that he's a myth. This work was undoubtably 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 Tristano again. Restoration work 1829-35 by Tosi to make the building safe, at which time many paintings were moved to the Pinacoteca.

Interior
visited
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.
The deep aisles have six altars each side, the right aisle is currently (May 2022) fenced off.
Work by Bastianino (Sebastiano Filippi) and Camillo Filippi, his son, who painted The Annunciation over the high altar. 
The works of Dosso Dossi, Bastianino, Panetti and Carpaccio are copies, the last two by Gregorio Boari, the originals, are now in the Pinacoteca.
An Ascension by Bononi is a copy of the Garofalo from 1510-20, 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 when, on Easter Day 28th March 1171 while mass was being celebrated by prior Pietro da Verona blood from the host splashed onto the vaulting of the semi-dome of the apse of the old church. This being at a time when the idea of transubstantiation was being challenged by Cathars and the like. The sangue-splashed dome was moved into the upper level here, but with some loss of the miraculous stains,
accessible up stairs and behind glass

Tombs
Garofalo was buried here. In 1696 Carlo Brisighella had a plaque placed on (his grandfather) Carlo Bononi's tomb here.

Lost art
now in the Pinacoteca
The Death of the Virgin by Carpaccio dated 1508, from the baptistery (high altar?) here, where it remained until 1836. It is not known how it came here or who was responsible.
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 Virgin and Child Enthroned with the Infant John the Baptist and Saints Agatha, Apollonia, Lucy, Helen, Catherine and Maurelius, a nun and two donors panel from c.1513 by Michele Coltellini, a painter of low repute who probably studied under Lorenzo Costa.
A Virgin and Child Enthroned with Saints Roch and Anthony Abbot from 1530, painted for the first altar on the left here
in 1530 by the Master of the Twelve Apostles.
Saint John on Patmos by Dosso Dossi.
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 of c.1533-4 by Battista Dossi, the younger brother of Dosso, commissioned by the Augustinian Canons for their altar here, has been in the Pinacoteca since 1836.
Saint Cecilia from c.1598-1602, painted on canvas by Bastianino for the family chapel of Antonio Goretti here.

Lost art not in the Pinacoteca
An Ascension by Garofalo from 1510-20 is now in the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica in Rome. It was taken to Rome after Ferrara passed to the papacy in 1598.  A copy  by Bononi remains here.

Opening times 8.30-12.30 & 3.30-7.00
holidays 9.00-12.30, 4.00-8.00
 

 







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 small church called Santa Maria dei Pescatori "of the fishermen". Nearby was built another larger church called Santa Maria del Lago in 911. In 1182 it was rebuilt and acquired acquired its current form and name, 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 (Blaise) was built in here to house the jaw relic of the saint, which is still locally venerated as a cure for throat ailments, especially on the saint's day on February 3rd. At this time his name was added to the church's dedication. 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 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 creating a crypt to preserve the Aldigheri tomb (see small photo below) and deeper digging. The 18th century work on the façade was also reversed, returning it to its 15th century gothic appearance. The large Transit of the Virgin fresco sinopia from the mid 15th century was found in the ogival door arch 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 much damage with reconstruction following and finishing in 1950. The 2012 earthquake forced the church to close. It reopened in late 2015.

Interior
Aisless with grey stone detailing. No side altars - they were removed in 1938. The ceiling has trompe l'oeil coffering with a painted panel showing The Miracle of San Biagio, healing a child in the centre. The apse semi-dome is frescoed. The high altarpiece is The Miracle of the Snow by Scarsellino from c.1600/10, which is 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.

Opening times For services





 





Left and above: postcards.
 

Santa Monica
Via Montebello


History
The church and convent were founded in 1515 by nuns who had parted from the convent of Sant'Agostino under a cloud of controversy, involving murder. They received the help of Duke Alfonso I and his wife Lucrezia Borgia, and designs by Gherardo Saraceni. Work began on the 2nd of July 1515, with consecration by the bishop of Comacchio Gillino Gillini on the 13th July 1544. Following the Napoleonic suppressions in 1796 the complex became private property. In 1815 it was rented to Carmelite nuns, who were ejected shortly afterwards, when it was reacquired by the Municipality. In 1869 they were able to return, but in 1950 they left for good. The cloister currently houses a school. The church currently (May 2022) crumbles behind weeds and metal fencing.

Lost art
Virgin and Child lunette over door by Garofalo was in such poor condition due to the depredations of the weather that it was replaced in 1940 with one by local artist Mario Capuzzo which was returned after restoration work in 2015.

An Annunciation of 1550 painted by Garofalo for this church is described by Edmund Gardner in his 1911 book The Painters of the School of Ferrara as the artist's last work and 'deplorable'.

A 1484 panel, originally part of a polyptych, by Cosmè Tura depicting Saint Nicholas of Bari is now in the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Nantes.

Opening times Currently closed
 

 

Santa Teresa Trasverberata
Via Borgo Vado/Via Brasavola

 

Santi Cosma e Damiano
via Carlo Mayr


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 then a church was built to plans by Gaetano Barbieri, starting in 1781 and completed in 1788. In that year the temple was consecrated too, to the Transverberation of the Heart of Saint Teresa of Jesus. Saint Teresa of Avila being the founder of the order. The baroque decoration of the interior began around the same time. Restoration work in 1923 and decoration in 1931 by the Ferrarese painter Augusto Pagliarini, also responsible for two paintings flanking the main altar showing two scenes from the life of Saint Teresa, with two tondi above of two Carmelite Blessed nuns.
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 reconsecration in 1939.


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


History
The church, an oratory for the guild of apothecaries, was built by the architects Francesco and Angelo Santini from 1710 to 1738 based on plans by Francesco Mazzarelli.
The church closed in 1933 and was 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.

Interior
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
 

Santi Simone e Giuda
Via Belfiore


History
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 and 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 added, 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 also saw the frescoed decoration of the chapels and the installation of wooden confessionals beside the chapels, and in 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 followed, including work on the façade 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 followed, 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.
Much 17th century art and more than a hundred reliquaries.
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.
 

 


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. 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. Work finished in 1763 which involved the loss of the two Gothic windows of the façade and the creation of 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 the 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


History
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 mule called Luca Finotti. It is said that there had already been an altar here 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 being 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.

Opening times
9.00 - 12.00
 

 

 

Santo Spirito
Via Montebello

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

Interior  visited
Huge, square, centralised, pale and calm. A shallow apse marble-screened off with a free-standing marble altar. Three grand ornate coloured marble altars down each side, the grandest in the centres marking the cross ends.
Lots of 17th century art, and 17th-century statues of saints by corner niches, some with gilding, some polychromed.
The altarpieces are mostly modern devotional statues behind glass. But the first on the right has a 17th-century Martyrdom of Saint Matthew by Francesco Costanzo Cattaneo. And the first left has a small Annunciation also by Cattaneo over the main image of The Virgin di Pompei by an anonymous 19th-century painter
The central left altar, in the cross arm, is dedicated to Saint Rita with an altarpiece of The
Crucifixion with Donor  from the 17th century by G.A. Ghiradoni, the opposite arm has an altar dedicated to Saint Anthony of Padua
The corner to the left of the presbytery (see photo above) has 18th-century fresco remains on the chapel walls and the end wall, of the sacristy, by Giuseppe and Pietro Filippi and a painted altarpiece of The Miracle of San Diego by Domenico Monio, a Ferrarese artist of the 16th
century. Monio had been a cloistered monk at the Certosa but the lure of worldly pleasure and a romance caused him to leave the monastery and become an artist in the studio of his godfather, Giuseppe Mazzuoli.

Lost art in the Pinacoteca

Two panels from a triptych attributed to Michele Pannonio, a Hungarian artist, showing Saints Louis and Bernardino from c.1455-63. The central panel was probably Saint Anthony of Padua.
The Virgin 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 in profile 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.
A 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, said to have been founded around 960, but certainly built before the 11th century. It was damaged by the earthquake of 1570 and rebuilt larger with added side aisles. In 1657 it passed to the Congregation of the Oratory of San Filippo Neri, the Oratorian Fathers,  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, during which work the frescoes at the base of the campanile (detailed below) were found. One of the few churches restored and reopened, in 2016, after the 2012 earthquake

Façade
Has four circular rosaci, with two housing terracotta busts of Saint Stephen and the Virgin, said to have been installed during the restoration work of 1824, and one with monogram of Christ, also known as the logo of San Bernardino, surrounded by medallions depicting the Apostles. The marble doorcase came from Biagio Rossetti's demolished church of San Silvestro at the same time.

Interior
 visited
Big but not long, minimally decorated, with it's width accommodating a nave and two wide raised aisles three bays long with large brown marble altars. These have small windows above them, real on the left, tromp l'oeil on the right. A pale pastel-panelled high altar, though in a short presbytery with considerable stonework crumble at the back (and scaffolding in 2022) . The yellow printed A4 alarm warnings on all the altars also 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. And near the presbytery are two canvases of scenes from the life of San Filippo Neri attributed to Avanzi.
The high altarpiece is The Martyrdom of Saint Stephen framed by 18th-century stuccoes, by Virginio Monti from the 19th century.
In the right aisle the first altar has relics of San Leo and an altarpiece by Giacomo Parolini
 from 1689 of" San Leone Magno , Sant'Antonio di Padova to San Francesco di Paola  The
second altar, but currently in poor conservation conditions) a canvas attributed to Antonio Randa in poor condition from the 17th century of Saint Francis of Sales approving the Rule of Saint Joan of Chantal.
In the left aisle  the first altar
has a 15th-century fresco of the Madonna delle Grazie which forms the background for a canvas of Saints John and Paul  by Scarsellino. The second altar has the Virgin placing the Christ Child in the arms of Santa Caterina Vegri attributed to Ghedini.

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 very fragmentary frescoed lunettes of The Life of Saint Maurelius, the co-patron-saint of Ferrara, by Vitale da Bologna from the late 14th century were found in a small chapel at the base of the campanile here. They were detached, badly from 1949 and are now in the Casa Romei.  Traces of a starry sky were also found, and sinopias.

 

 





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