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Church of St Sixtus

Overview

This is the church for which Raphael painted the Sistine Madonna, a seminal work of Renaissance art. An 18th-century copy of the painting can still be seen here today, at the high altar. The original Madonna was sold by the Benedictine monks to a Polish king, and is now kept in Dresden. 

The church as you see it today is the result of work completed in the 15th and 16th centuries during the Renaissance, to rebuild a monastery founded by the empress Engelberga in the 9th century. In front of the façade with its solid early 17th-century portal is an unusual porticoed courtyard, which almost forms a cloister. More surprises are to be found inside, with the first transept and its two unusual Greek cross chapels to the right and left. At the end of the aisles you find a second transept, beneath a tiburium with a loggia, a beautifully carved 16th-century wooden choir inlaid with architectural motifs and still lifes - this is of course the original location of the Sistine Madonna. In the second transept stands the mausoleum of Margaret of Austria, the Duchess of Piacenza who we could call the "mother" of Palazzo Farnese. Down the spiral staircase, you will also find a crypt, which is thought to date from the early Middle Ages.

Hours

Sunday
08:00 am-06:30 pm
Monday - Friday
08:00 am-05:00 pm
Saturday
08:00 am-06:30 pm
Church of St Sixtus

Via S. Sisto, 9, 29121 Piacenza PC, Italia

Call +390523320321 Website

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