Modena, with its province so rich in parish churches and Romantic castles, is an actual artistic jewel...
Modena, with its province so rich in parish churches and Romantic castles, is an actual artistic jewel. It is a compulsory destination for all those who visit Emilia Romagna and want to admire an excellent Romanesque style and all the buildings realized under the rule of the House of Este.
A really exclusive building is the Duomo (the cathedral), one of the most distinguished and most complete example of Romanesque, which was built in 1099, according to the plan of the architect Lanfranco. The church’s front is enriched by three portals and, in the centre, there is a beautiful rose window, a work by Campionesi.
Particularly important are the sculptures by Wiligelmo, that give a proper interpretation of the Romanesque style. The interior of the church needs to be explored: you can admire the wonderful 14th century pulpit by Arrigo Campione and the precious Madonna della Pappa in terracotta by Antonio Begarelli.
Externally, next to the three apses of the church, stands the Ghirlandina Tower, symbol of the town and, not far from there, you can visit the Cathedral’s Lapidary Museum, which encloses sculptures and architectural remnants of the ancient cathedral. There are other important buildings: St Peter’s Church, built in 1476 in Renaissance style, St Augustine’s Church built in 1663, with a beautiful lacunar ceiling and Palazzo Ducale, which was the old residence of the Estensi and is today the seat of the Military Academy.
Then the old Library of the Este Dukes is important too, since it is one of the most highly regarded libraries in Italy, because of its collections of illuminated codes and other masterpieces, as the Bible by Borso d’Este. We recommend you to visit carefully the Civic Museums and the Estense Gallery, which has got one of the most estemated Italian art collections.