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Chiesa di Santo Stefano, Genoa

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Santo Stefano is a church in Genoa, northern Italy. Located on a hill overlooking the central Via XX Settembre, it is one of the most outstanding examples of Romanesque architecture in the city.The church had been closed for much of the 20th century, until the restoration of the year 1946-1955, when it was reconsecrated.HistoryThe church was built in the Middle Ages as part of an abbey, in the place where previously a 6th-century small church, entitled to St. Michael Archangel, was located. The most ancient document mentioning Santo Stefano dates from 965, although some scholars attribute its foundation to Theodulf, bishop of Genoa, in 972, who rebuilt it after a Saracen inroad.It became a parish only eventually, in an unknown date, anyway after 1054. The abbey was held by Columbanian monks of Bobbio from 972 to 1431, when Pope Boniface IX turned it into a commenda. In 1497 a chapel with a marble choir was added to the church. In 1535 the monastery was demolished, replaced by another in the mid-17th century.The abbey was cared by the Olivetans from 1530 until 1776.The parish territory included the houses of Cristopher Columbus who, according to the tradition, would be baptized here.ArchitectureSanto Stefano is on a single nave, with a superelevated presbytery. Under the latter is the crypt, which would be the original nucleus of the church of St. Archangel. The dome is now in brickwork; it was rebuilt in the 14th century by abbot Niccolò Fieschi, and is octagonal in shape. The lower section of the bell tower is of uncertain dating, but is commonly deemed to be antecedent to the current church, and that it was probably used as a defensive structure.
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  • Notable Romanesque church whose original nucleus is prior to the year 1000, even if, as often happens, altered in later centuries, as is evident from the octagonal dome and from the top of the Bell Tower dating from the 14th century. Among the oldest parts the particular apse. Inside a single nave, several significant paintings of the ' 600 and the crypt built below the presbytery, very common in Roman churches. The Church is located in a little square above the via XX settembre, at the monumental Bridge: when you arrive at that bridge, several iron ladders on the right (coming from piazza Vittoria) lead to the churchyard. Here in addition to admire the façade of the Church to light and dark bands, you have a nice view on via XX settembre. The Church is normally closed (aside from the openings on the occasion of religious services, however infrequent), but on Fridays and Saturdays you can visit thanks to the volunteers of Tourung Club. Also in gg. closing the view of the outside, if you find yourself on via XX settembre, worth the detour.
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  • On the map settembre Street located along the way stands on WOW to church a distinctive walk settembre Street actually appears, and looks up. Interesting comparison of a chunky black and white striped façade and apse area.
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  • This church overlooks a small square raised and slightly detached compared to Via XX Settembre, the main street of Genoa, right next to the monumental bridge, still easily accessible. Also because of its troubled history and numerous restorations and reconstructions, is characterized by a plant a little unusual, and even the Interior appears on several levels. For Romanesque lovers this ancient Church is a destination not to be missed. Board to Board, outer side ladder, above Corso Andrea Podesta, from where guests can admire the apse in all its glory.
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