Basilica of Santo Stefano

Basilica of Santo StefanoThe ancient Basilica of Santo Stefano encompasses a number of religious buildings. Located in Piazza Santo Stefano, it is locally known as Sette Chiese (Seven Churches) or Santa Gerusalemme (Holy Jerusalem).


According to tradition, Saint Petronius, a bishop of the city during the 5th century, built the basilica over a temple of the goddess Isis. The Saint wished to have a building that recalled the Church of the Holy Sepulchre built in Jerusalem by Constantine the  Great at the purported site of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.

The different parts of the complex include:

Church of Saint John the Baptist (8th century)

Church of the Holy Sepulchre (according to tradition: 5th century)

Church of the Saints Vitale and Agricola (4th century; rebuilt in the 12th century)

Courtyard of Pilate (13th century)

Church of the Trinity (13th century)

Chapel of the Bandage - dedicated to the strip of cloth worn around the head by the Virgin Mary as a sign of mourning.

Also included is Pilate's Courtyard which leads to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. In the centre of the courtyard  is  the "Catino di Pilato" ( Pilate's basin) which was built between 737 and 744. The Cloister of the Celestines has a splendid  portico under which a 14th-century sculpted rooster, known as  the Rooster of St Peter, recalls the three acts of denial of Jesus by the Apostle Peter.

Visiting the Basilica

ADDRESS: Via Santo Stefano, 24, Bologna
  • Daily from 8:00am to 7:00pm
During religious functions  visits may be shortened or cancelled.
PHONE: 051 4126177

Map from Park View B&B to Basilica of Santo Stefano