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San Colombano/Collezione Tagliavini

Baroque Frescoes and Harpsichords

Crypt of San Colombano

One of the oldest church complexes in Bologna, San Colombano was founded in c. 610 by Bishop Pietro of Bologna, a student of the scholarly Irish missionary monk Colombanus, around the same time that Columbanus founded the monastery and centre of learning at Bobbio in Emilia — one of the brightest lights in the Italian Dark Ages.

That church was built over a late Roman building, and in 1591 the Baroque Oratorio di Santa Maria di Colombano was built over that to house the church's treasures, especially the Madonna dell’Orazione by Lippo di Dalmasio.

Upstairs, however is one of Bologna’s marvels: frescoes painted under the direction of Ludovico Carracci, known as 'La Gloriosa Gara' of scenes of the Passion and Resurrection of Christ by some of the leading painters of the day: Guercino, Albani, Reni, Domenichino, Massari and Brizio.

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Churches in Bologna

Bologna Museums and Galleries

Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Image by Giornale di archittura