‘The Saint' – symbol of Padua
A symbolic monument of the city of Padua, the Basilica of St. Anthony is one of the most beautiful and emblematic buildings in the country. To this day, the people of Padua still call it by the affectionate nickname of 'The Saint' (Il Santo). Its construction began in 1232 to house the tomb of the Franciscan friar Anthony, who died in 1231.
In addition to its great spiritual value, the church preserves priceless works of art. Starting from the outside, admire the three bronze doors, by architect Camillo Boito, the Sala del Capitolo (Chapter House), housing frescoes by the master Giotto and his workshop, while the High Altar and the bronze sculptures adorning it are by Donatello.
The cloisters play a key role within the complex. Monuments by Giovanni Minello and Andrea Briosco can be admired in the Novitiate Cloister. The Cloister of the Chapter contains beautiful marble, while the Gothic-style Cloister of the General houses the Antoniana Library, established in the 13th century, on the upper floor. Today, it contains more than 85,000 volumes, including 850 manuscripts, dating to the Middle Ages. Finally, the Cloister of the Antoniano Museum not only houses the copy of Mantenga's Lunetta by Nicola Locoff, but also the altarpieces by Tiepolo and many other masterpieces.