Chiesa Santa Maria Maggiore, Trento

#4 of 28 in Historic Sites in Trento
Religious Site · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
The Church of Santa Maria Maggiore is an important place of worship in the city of Trento, and the site of the Third Session of the Council of Trent. It was built by Antonio Medaglia on the model of the basilica of Sant’Andrea in Mantua, at the wish of the Prince-Archbishop Bernardo Clesio. In November 1973 Pope Paul VI accorded it the status of minor cathedral.

Traditionally, the foundation of the cathedral was attributed to St. Vigilius, the third Bishop of Trento, in the late fourth of early fifth century, but archaeological investigations between 1974 and 1978 and again in 2007–2009 have cast further light on the story of the building. In the Roman period, there were public buildings, including a public baths, on the site where the cathedral was later built. The original cathedral itself was built somewhat later than previously thought, in the late fifth or early sixth century, and had a large space divided into three naves. The chancel of this church, which was still in use towards the end of the tenth and eleventh centuries, contains traces of an opus sectile pavement dating to late antiquity, which was later replaced with a mosaic from the middle of the sixth century.
Between the late eighth and early ninth centuries a number of building works were undertaken on the cathedral, in particular the addition of richly-decorated stone liturgical fittings, including a rood screen and a ciborium. In the late tenth or early eleventh centuries the old church was demolished, and its structure, including the Carolingian fittings, were used as building materials for a new church, smaller than the previous one. It had a semicircular central apse with two side-apses.
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  • Just in the center mof the city. This is one of the most iconic and important churches of the city. Free entrance  more »
  • Closes at around midday but finally managed to visit when the huge doors were actually open. Very atmospheric and full of historical importance of course. Beautiful stained glass.  more »
  • Beautiful. This historically significant church is smaller than you might think. A couple of the paintings advice the side altars are lovely, and the modern lectern and altar frontal are exceptional. Other than that, this church has a quiet, almost simple feel that belies it's historical importance as the seat of the Council of Trent
  • This church built around 1520 us a beautiful place full of history. The second session of the COUNCIL OF TRENTO was there . Easy to find because in the center and closed to the railway station and bus station. ..
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