Hidden treasures

The Dominican Convent of Santa Corona in Vicenza

Unknown places & works

The Dominican Convent of Santa Corona in Vicenza

Located in the centre of Vicenza, the majestic Dominican church of Santa Corona was founded in 1260s to house the precious relic of the Holy Thorn, donated to the bishop of Vicenza Bartolomeo da Breganze (1259-70) by the king Louis IX of France.

The convent consisted of two buildings and two cloisters.

On the northern side of the church is the smaller 17th century cloister next to the building that once housed the library, built between 1496 and 1502 on a likely design by Rocco da Vicenza. Today, unfortunately, the area lies abandoned due to the bombings suffered during World War II.

The ancient library separates the small cloister from a second larger one, constructed in the second half of the 1400s, featuring columns with Vicenza stone and decorated with 15th century Gothic capitals. The architect Francesco Muttoni, a scholar of Andrea Palladio, designed the loggia and the western façade in neo-classic style.

Until the fall of the Venice Republic this convent was also the seat of the Inquisition Office. During the French rule, the ancient convent was used as a municipal residence. In subsequent years, it housed an Austrian military hospital and after this, a number of schools (1867). The ensuing modifications led to the construction of the present-day façade with three entrances in ionic order.

The building was used as a school until 1962. In 1987, the whole complex was destined for a museum site and the first restoration works were started. The Archaeological Naturalistic Museum was inaugurated only in September 1991.

On request, the Santa Corona complex can be included in our Your Own Vicenza, the private guided tour of Vicenza entirely customizable according to your interests!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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