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The Sanctuary of the Seven Churches and Villa Duodo

The Sanctuary of the Seven Churches and Villa Duodo

The Sanctuary of the Seven Churches and Villa Duodo

The most significant religious monument in Monselice

The most prominent religious monumental complex in Monselice is set on the slopes of the Colle della Rocca, beyond the church of Santa Giustina. It is the Jubilee Shrine of the Seven Churches (Santuario Giubilare delle Sette Chiese), consisting of six chapels that follow one another along the road that ascends to the square in front of Villa Duodo, where the church of San Giorgio is located.

The seven votive churches are the result of the project of Pietro Duodo, a Venetian nobleman who had already built his residence in this place, with adjoining private chapel. In 1605 he received from Pope Paul V the permission to build and title the small churches as the seven major basilicas in Rome, obtaining the same privilege as a plenary indulgence. The complex, carried out by Vincenzo Scamozzi, represents the Holy City in miniature which is accessed through a monumental doorway surmounted by the inscription "Romans Basilicis Pares," which introduces to the via romana, the Roman road.

The churches contain six paintings by Palma il Giovane (1548-1628) depicting the Roman basilicas corresponding to the titration of each chapel.

In 1651, the bodies of three martyrs and numerous relics were brought from Rome to San Giorgio, the seventh church.  The arrival of new substantial relics in 1713 induced the family Duodo to enclose a real sanctuary to the side of the church, so to store the Holy Bodies. 

Villa Duodo 

The villa stands on the square where the way of the sanctuary ends, creating a spectacular setting. It was built in the late sixteenth century by the architect Scamozzi, and initially consisted only of the southern edifice. The second wing of the villa, added in 1740, appears more imposing and in orthogonal position in comparison to the late sixteenth century construction.

The square, including a stone fountain in the middle, is bordered on the side of the mountains by a staircase adorned with statues of the “Quattro Stagioni”, the Four Seasons, works made by the Paduan sculptor Antonio Bonazza (1698-1763). The spectacular staircase heads to the  Esedra of San Francesco Saverio, with the cave-niche named after the saint who in 1537 stayed in the town of Monselice. 

At present the villa serves as a branch of the University of Padova.


Iniziativa finanziata dal Programma di sviluppo rurale per il Veneto 2014-2020
Organismo responsabile dell'informazione: GAL Patavino.
Autorità di gestione: Regione del Veneto
- Direzione AdG FEASR Parchi e Foreste -