In the State Archive of Bergamo, there is a notarial deed dated back to 785, which certifies the existence of a proto-Christian basilica on this place, called Basilica Sancti Andreae.
Due to the damage caused by the construction of the Venetian Walls between 1561 and 1588, the old basilica obtained compensation of 300 scudi from the Venetian Republic, thanks to which it was renovated and reconsecrated in 1592.
A subsequent reconstruction of the church dates back to 1689, with the laying of the foundation stone on June 23 by Bishop Daniele Giustiniani.
In 1805, by a decree of Napoleon Bonaparte, the adjacent parish of San Michele al Pozzo Bianco was suppressed and its territory was annexed to the parish of Sant’Andrea.
The ancient church was thus too small for this new territory and for a rather large population, and in in 1829 the architect Giacomo Romilli was commissioned to plan its complete renovation. Giacomo Romilli’s project included a Neoclassical building, with a facade marked by pilasters and a tympanum, a small hemispherical dome and a tall bell tower, but the structure was never built.
The current appearance of the church is due to a project of the architect Ferdinando Crivelli, executed starting from 1837 on the remains of the old church. In 1847, the church was consecrated by the bishop Carlo Gritti Morlacchi.
The facade of the church remained unfinished. On the facade, there are only three portals designed by Crivelli, in white Zandobbio marble. The interior develops on a three-nave plan with a hemispherical dome and an apse.
The church has two levels: a lower one, originally conceived as a hypogean church, which was transformed into a theater in 1951 and entrusted in 2018 to the Theater Center of the University of Bergamo, and an upper floor which represents the current church hall.
HOW TO GET THERE
The closest bus stop is in Piazza Mercato Scarpe, about 240 meters away, on the bus Lines 1 and 3. In the Piazza Mercato Scarpe, there is also the Funicular to Città Basa. To find the church on foot, use the map below.