San Giorgio (Modena)

Church as Theatre

San Giorgio, Modena

Just outside the Palazzo Ducale, San Giorgio was rebuilt in 1647, in the time of Francesco I d'Este, to house a miraculous image of the Virgin Mary, 'Our Lady of the Modenese People'.

The church and its rare Greek cross plan are the work of Gaspare Vigarani, though the facade was added by other hands in the 1680s. Here though, the real interest is inside, where Vigarani translated his talent for stage design into religious architecture. The architectural constructions flanking the altar, with their Corinthian pilasters and balconies, may be unique in the history of church building. They make the east end of the church a proper stage set, and the upper galleries were intended to accommodate the musicians present for the mass.

Practical Info

Largo San Giorgio

Hours 7.30am-11.30am, 5-7.30pm

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