City of Bologna, Italy Tues. June 6, 2006

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San Petronio, an enormous Gothic basilica honoring the patron saint of Bologna. Although the builders went to work in 1390, after 3 centuries the church was still not finished.
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One guidebook said it is the 5th larget Church in the world. Legend has it that the construction was curtailed by papal decree when the Vatican learned that the Bologna city fathers had planned to erect a basilica larger than St. Peter's.
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The Church is dedicated to St. Peteronio, who was bishop of Bologna in the 5th century.
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The meridian line in San Petronio. From a hole in the ceiling, a ray of sunlight hits the line at solar noon throughout the year, important for calulating the solstice and equinox (and thus the date for Easter). (There also is one in Santa Maria degli Angeli in Rome, but at 66.8 meters this one is the longest sundial in the world.)
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Outside San Patronio is Piazza Maggiore, the heart of the city. Here is the Palazzo Comunale (1287) which is used by the city government.
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Its faade is adorned with a beautiful sandstone portal and a terracotta Madonna scultped by Niccol˜ dellĠArca in 1478. The bronze statue is of "Protector and Father" Petronius.
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Basilica of Saint Dominic, where he settled in 1218 until his death here in 1221. Bologna was home to one of the first and finest universities in Europe.
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After his death, the church expanded and grew into the Basilica of Saint Dominic, consecrated by Pope Innocent IV in 1251.
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When Saint Dominic died in this church on August 6, 1221 he was buried in a simple sarcophagus. In 1267 Saint Dominic's remains were moved to this exquisite tomb or "Arca".
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Three of the statues on the tomb are carved by Michaelangelo. But more important is the meesage of the monument, where the Lord is on top, surrounded by saints, angels, and symbols of the Church.
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Fresco of St. Dominic being welcomed into heaven. Dominic was founder of the Dominican Order, the Order of Preachers, the first missionary order of the Catholic Church.
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At the back of the shrine to the Saint, the head of St. Dominic is enshrined in a huge, golden reliquary (1383).
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Miraculous crucifix in the Church. I should not neglect to mention an important part of St. Dominc's spirituality was his veneration to Mary. Tradition tells us he introduced the Rosary among Christian prayers.
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I ave no idea what this monument / funerary outside the Church is for.
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Just passing by the Basilica of St. Paul, dated 16th century.
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Main altar with statue of the beheading of St. Paul.
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Approriately, this Church is run by the Barnabites - Clerics Regular of St. Paul - founded by St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria, pictured here.
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Church of St. Catherine of Bologna. A Poor Clare nun, she became abbess here in 1456 until her death in 1463.
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Catherine Vigri was born in Bologna but spent most of her life in Ferrara, where her father was a diplomatic agent. She received a fine humanist education before joing 15 other women who eventualy joined the reformed branch of the Poor Clares.
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Catherine died March 9, 1463. She was buried without a coffin or embalming; exhumed eighteen days later due to the miracles occurring near her grave, and the odor of perfume that came from it. Her body was found incorrupt; and currently is in the cell in which she lived.
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Unfortunately the picture didn't turn out, but Bologna is known for its miles and miles of porticos running throughout the streets of the city.
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Another view of San Patronio from Piazza Maggiore.
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Cathedral of St. Peter, originally 13th century, remodeled 18th century.
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Under the main altar are relics of various other saints of Bologna: Sts. Zama (1st), Theodore and Tertulian (8th), all bishops of Bologna.
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Most unusual Holy Water font in the Cathedral.

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