After the Christian martyr Vincent of Saragossa was killed in 304 during the persecution of Christians under Diocletian, his cult spread rapidly throughout Europe, reaching Vicenza in the first centuries of the first millennium of our Era.
In the second half of the 14th century, during the Scaligeri domination of the city, the cult of San Vincenzo was revived. The construction of a church dedicated to him was begun in 1385 and completed in 1387.
During the 15th century, the church was rebuilt and its facade was oriented towards Piazza dei Signori. In 1486, a Monte di Pietà office was created in Vicenza by the Catholic Church, which established a pawnshop in the Church of San Vincenzo.
Ten years later, the Monte di Pietà building collapsed and, in 1499, work began on a new building adjacent to the church, with the simultaneous renovation of the church itself. During the 16th century, the works were completed with the construction of the two wings of the Monte di Pietà building, with the church in the middle.
At the beginning of the 16th century, a competition was announced for the new facade of the church, which was built between 1614 and 1617 by the architects Paolo and Pietro Bonin.
The facade of the church has two superimposed three-arched loggias, with Corinthian and composite columns. Only the lower loggia belongs to the church, while the upper one masks the offices of Monte di Pietà, located on the noble floor. Between 2000 and 2002, the facade was restored.
The loggias are surmounted by a splendid crown that shows the Christ mourned by angels, work of the sculptor Giovanni Battista Albanese. The same artist is responsible for the five statues on the gable, which represent the Saints Vincent, Carpophorus, Leontius, Felix and Fortunatus.
Separated from the square by a gate, the atrium with the cross vaults houses the large portal of the church from the 15th century.
The extension of the church, where the main altar is now located, was designed and built by the architect Francesco Muttoni in the 18th century, during the completion of the Palazzo del Monte di Pietà.
HOW TO GET THERE
The Church of San Vincenzo is located about 1 kilometers from the Vicenza railway station. The closest bus stop is in Piazzetta Largo Neri Pozza, about 220 meters away, on the bus Line 10.