The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, dedicated to the Assumption of Mary, is the cathedral of Padua, located in the Piazza Duomo, in the historical center of the city.
According to tradition, the first cathedral of Padua was built after the Edict of Milan from 313. Originally, the church was dedicated to Saint Justina, but following one of its reconstructions, from 462 or 602, it was dedicated to Saint Mary.
In 1075, Bishop Olderico consecrated a new cathedral, built on the ruins of the previous one. This basilica was destroyed by the famous earthquake of January 3, 1117.
Following the earthquake of 1117, a new cathedral was built on the project of the architect Macillo. The cathedral was consecrated on April 24, 1180.
The new church stood in the area of the current cathedral, having the same orientation. In 1227, the bell tower was rebuilt and, between 1399 and 1400, the bishop Stefano da Carrara carried out some restoration works and built the cross vaults.
On January, 1551, the church approved the project of the illustrious Michelangelo Buonarroti for a new presbitery. The Michelangelo project was completed and inaugurated by the bishop Federico Cornaro on April 14, 1582.
Around 1635, the construction of the right arm of the transept was completed, and the left one was finished in 1693. On August 25, 1754, Cardinal Carlo Rezzonico solemnly consecrated the new cathedral.
In 1756, the main dome was built on a project by Giovanni Gloria and Giorgio Massari. In 1822, the dome was struck by lightning, and it was rebuilt under the guidance of the engineer Giuseppe Bissacco.
The facade of the cathedral, unfinished, rises between the imposing body of the Palazzo Vescovile (Episcopal Palace) and the Baptistery. The facade has three portals, with two empty niches between them, and a small rose window above the main portal.
The church has a Latin cross plan with three naves and an octagonal dome. On the sides of the presbytery, there are two sacristies, one of the Canons and the other of the Prebendati. Under the presbytery, there are the crypt and the Chapel of the Holy Cross.
The bell tower rises between the sacristy of the Prebendati and the arm of the right transept. The side doors open respectively onto the small courtyard of the rectory and onto Via Arco Valaresso, behind the cathedral.
HOW TO GET THERE
The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta is located about 1.8 kilometers from the Padua railway station. The closest bus stop, Duomo, is right in front of the cathedral, on the bus Line U02. To find the church on foot, use the map below.