Santa Maria del Carmine, Pavia

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Santa Maria del Carmine

Santa Maria del Carmine is a church in Pavia, Lombardy, northern Italy, considered amongst the best examples of Lombard Gothic architecture. It was begun in 1374 by Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Duke of Milan, on a project attributed to Bernardo da Venezia. The construction followed a slow pace, and was restarted in 1432, being finished in 1461.


The church has an imposing façade commanding the square with the same name; the slender forms betray a residual Romanesque influence, although the decorations are undoubutably of Lombard Gothic style. The façade is divided into five vertical compartments by six pilasters surmounted by spires. The three central sectors have a portal each, remade by Giuseppe Marchesi in 1854. Over the portals are four large ogival mullioned windows and an elaborated rose window in brickwork.

The bell tower, dating to c. 1450, has numerous friezes and a triple mullioned window with marble columns.


The interior is characterized by an inspiring penumbra, and is on the Latin cross plan with a nave and numerous lateral chapels with frescoes and paintings. The most important are:

  • 2nd Chapel, with a fresco by Vincenzo Foppa (1462)
  • 4th Chapel, with a canvas of the Guardian Angel by Sebastiano Ricci (1694)
  • 5th Chapel, with an Assumption by Bernardo Cane
  • 6th Chapel, with an altarpiece of St. Anne and the Wool Making Craft (by Guglielmo Caccia)
  • 7th Chapel, housing a Gothic altarpiece donated by Pius X, and 15th century polyptych with Madonna and Saints (by Bernardino da Cotignola).

In the transept are also precious 15th-century frescoes, while the sacristy (1576) has façade with Baroque stuccoes. Also notable is the Gothic tabernacle (1449) and the marble altar of the presbytery.

Coordinates: 45°11′14″N 9°9′11″E / 45.18722°N 9.15306°E / 45.18722; 9.15306