The Church of Sant’Antonio Taumaturgo, commonly known as the Church of Sant’Antonio Nuovo, is the largest Catholic church in Trieste. The church, dedicated to Saint Anthony of Padua, is located on the square with the same name, at the end of the Grand Canal of Trieste.
A private chapel dedicated to the Annunciation stood on this place until the middle of the 18th century. After the chapel was opened to the public, the structure became insufficient for worshippers, so it was decided to raise a larger church dedicated to Sant’Antonio Nuovo.
Around 1771, the church was completed, but soon the new structure became also inadequate for the large number of believers who attended the services. Therefore, in 1808, a competition was held for a new church dedicated to Saint Anthony. The same year, the Neoclassical project of the Swiss architect Pietro Nobile won the competition.
However, the work began only in 1825, and the consecration of the imposing church took place only in 1849. In 1958, the two pipe organs of the church were built by the Mascioni company, both with electric transmission.
ART AND ARCHITECTURE
The facade of the church is characterized by a majestic pronaos with six Ionic columns and a large pediment. Above the facade, there are six statues carved in 1842 by Francesco Bosa, depicting the patron saints of Trieste: San Giusto, San Sergio, San Servolo, San Mauro, Sant’Eufemia and Santa Tecla. The rear facade is surmounted by a pair of twin bell towers.
The interior is vast, marked by arches and barrel vaults. In the apse, we can find the fresco painted by Sebastiano Santi in 1836, depicting the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.
In the six lateral niches, illuminated by large windows, there are as many altars framed by pairs of pilasters. Here, there are the large 19th-century altarpieces depicting Saint Anna and the Virgin child by the painter Michelangelo Grigoletti, the Presentation in the temple by Felice Schiavoni, St. Joseph, by Johann Schoomann, Sant’Antonio by Odorico Politi, the Martyrdom of Saints Euphemia, Erasma, Tecla and Dorotea by Ludovico Lipparini, and the Crucifixion by Ernest Tunner.
HOW TO GET THERE
The Church of Sant’Antonio Taumaturgo is located about 900 meters from the Trieste Centrale railway station. The closest bus stop is in Via Fabio Filzi 3, a few meters away, on the bus Lines 04, 05, 17, 20, 24, 28, 30 and 40. To find the church on foot, use the map below.