protestors at Stazione Venezia Santa Lucia, facing Fondamenta San Simeone Piccolo, 12 October
From the train, upon approaching the ancient - university city, I was very impressed by a Romanesque structure in the distance, in Piazza Gaetano Salvemini, which was even not included in our rather cramped day trip agenda:
Piazza Gaetano Salvemini, Padova
Walking through the university town, we saw both ancient ruins and the vibrant young people, along with interesting architectures of various ages, styles and details:
In the center of the city, near the university, there was a huge plaza, which housed a lively market till it dispersed soon, and one the the flanking buildings was the enormous Palazzo della Ragione, in its lower level, there were more shops operating:
Palazzo della Ragione, Padova
The building had many wonderful details to admire, even when I felt frustrated in not being able to find the entrance.
Palazzo della Ragione, Padova
Finally, through a side gate, we climbed upon the upper level of the Palazzo and walked through a beautifully ornamented loggia and found our entrance to the gigantic, single-span, medieval town hall, nearly rectangular, with length of 81.5m, and breadth 27m, height 24 m. The Palazzo was begun in 1172 and finished in 1219 and was rebuilt in 1756 after a tornado damage.
The hall had a cathedral ceiling resembling the hull of a giant ship and its entire walls were covered with allegorical frescoes in wonderfully aged colors. Then there was a huge blue wooden horse, atop of a podium, near one end of the hall. It was maddeningly giddy-inducing.
"The big wooden horse kept in Palazzo della Ragione was ordered by Annibale Capodilista in 1466: it was one of the big machines - and the only one that has survived - made for an extraordinary celebration that was organized in Padua, in the squares Piazza dei Signori and Piazza del Capitanio. The parade saw the participation of all the people in town, and of more people who had been attracted to town for this exceptional event."
The Duomo in Padova was imposing enough, though later on, it was dwarfed by its Basilica di Sant'Antonio, where the city's patron saint, Anthony, was buried.
We approached the Duomo from its back and half-circled its vast site then came upon a wonderfully open square, where kids played soccer in front of Duomo and the adjacent Battistero.
Duomo (left) and Battistero (round structure)
The interior of Duomo was surprisingly bright and at the altar, the artworks were startlingly modern, though quite appropriate.
This effigy of S. Gregorio Barbarigo (1625-1697), Bishop of Padua was however a bit strange (above right and below).
S. Gregorio Barbarigo (1625-1697), Vescovo di Padova (Bishop of Padua)
The Battistero (Baptistery) next door contained amazing Fresco cycle by Giusto de Menabuoni, covering the circular wall and the dome. Brilliant colors and striking composition.
Frescoes by Giusto de Menabuoni, Battistero, Padova
Yet, the Duomo was overshadowed by the even larger, and more impressive cathedral - Basilica di Sant'Antonio where the city's patron saint rested. The building looked like a byzantine medieval fortress.
Basilica di Sant'Antonio, Padova
After seeing those sites, along with the tour of the University and Cappella degli Scrovegni and Musei Civici degli Eremitani, it was time to conclude the day trip. The sun was setting and that granted us a glorious view of Padova before we boarded our train back to Venice.
Related posts on Art · 文化 · Kunst:
- Cappella degli Scrovegni and Musei Civici degli Eremitani in Padova (Padua)
- Visiting Four Universities in Austria and Italy- Pinacoteca Nazionale, Bologna
- San Giorgio Maggiore, Il Redentore, Scuola e Chise Grande di San Rocco, Venezia
- Magical Piazza San Marco in Venice
- Magnificent Churches in Vienna
- My Favorite Frescoes at Santa Croce, Firenze
- My Favorite Art Works at Santa Maria Novella, Firenze
- My Favorite Artworks at Museo di San Marco, Firenze
- My Favorite Artworks at Cappelle Medicee, San Lorenzo, Firenze
- My Favorite Works at Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Firenze, Italia
Label: Italy, Austria and Italy Trip 2012