The Church of Saints Bartholomew and Stephen is a beautiful church in Bergamo, located in the modern part of the city, known as Città Bassa, along the famous Sentierone, one of the most important avenues of the town.
A former church dedicated to Saint Stephen was demolished on November 11, 1561, for the construction of the Venetian walls which surrounds the Città Alta. From the numerous friars who lived in the convent, only eight remained as guests in the Church of San Bernardino. On August 14, 1572, the friars moved to the small Church of San Bartolomeo, given to them by the Pope Pius V.
The Church of Saint Bartholomew was rebuilt in the first half of the 17th century, more precisely between 1603 and 1642, on a project by the architect Anton Maria Caneva of Como. The church was consecrated on January 19, 1782, by the bishop of Bergamo, Giovanni Paolo Dolfin.
ART AND ARCHITECTURE
The church has a simple structure, but at the same time elegant and grandiose, measuring 60 meters in lenght and 14 meters in width, without the chapels.
The facade, completed at the end of the 19th century by the architect Giovanni Cuminetti, represents a beautiful example of Baroque architecture.
On the first order of the facade, in two niches, are two sculptures by Giovanni Avogadri depicting San Francesco, on the left, and San Domenico, on the right. In the lunette above the main portal, there is a fresco by Luigi Galizzi, depicting the Virgin offering the Rosary to San Domenico.
On the second order of the facade, we can find four female statues depicting the cardinal virtues, by the sculptor Andrea Paleni. Between them, there are two magnificent relief panels made by the sculptor Luigi Pagani, depicting the martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew and that of Saint Stephen.
The interior has a single nave with five chapels on each side. The presbytery is raised, ending in the apse with the choir on a semi-octagonal plan, where in the upper part is placed the famous altarpiece Pala Martinengo by Lorenzo Lotto.
HOW TO GET THERE
The Church of Saints Bartholomew and Stephen is located about 900 meters from the Bergamo railway station, or about 15 minutes on foot. To easily find the church, use the map below.