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Church of Santa Maria dei Servi, Padua

Santa Maria dei Servi, or the Church of the Nativity of the Servants of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is a 14th-century, Roman Catholic church that faces the Via Roma (once Sant’Egidio) in Padua, region of the Veneto, Italy. This is the parish church in the vicariate of the Cathedral Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta[1] governed by the Servite Order (order of the Servants of Mary). The churches of San Canciano and San Luca are its subsidiaries. For a period the churches of San Zilio and Santa Giuliana were also subsidiaries, until they were closed. The church contains outstanding works of art including a wooden crucifix by Donatello.

Santa Maria dei Servi
Santa Maria dei Servi (Padua) - exterior.jpg
Via Roma facade
Basic information
AffiliationRoman Catholic
RiteRoman rite
Year consecrated1511
Architectural description
Architectural typeChurch
Architectural styleLombard, Gothic
Direction of façadeN
Length57 metres (187 ft)
Width (nave)17 metres (56 ft)



Gothic portal of the 14th century

The church was built between 1372 and 1390 at the behest of Fina Buzzaccarini, wife of the Prince of Padua, Francesco Da Carrara the Elder. The building was built on the ruins of the palace of Nicholas Carrara razed after the owner in 1327 betrayed Francesco by siding with the Della Scala. In 1378, after his death, he left to his sister Anna Fina, abbess of the monastery of St Benedict, the task of completing the construction of the church. In 1393 Francesco Novello, son of Fina and lord of Padua gave the church to the Servites. The church in the sixteenth century was the subject of major refurbishments mainly by Bartolomeo from Campolongo who built in 1511 the porch toward the street; he utilized for the refurbishment ten octagonal columns of red marble from the demolition of the 14th-century Chapel of the Saint in the Basilica of St. Anthony of Padua. The Servi church was part of a convent of the Servants of Mary, the Oratory of St. Omobono and that of the guild of Santa Maria del Parto.

In 1807 the Servite Fathers were expelled and the church was confiscated and forfeited in state assets. It was established as a parish church, run by secular clergy. In the 1920s the interior of the church was restored to the austere 14th-century appearance. The building was reconsecrated in 1963 .

In June 2014, the Bishop of Padua accepted the request of the Superior of the Order of Servants of Mary to be able to return to their historic church after 207 years of regency by the secular clergy.[2] The delivery charge is on 6 September of the same year.[3] In the church. the following are entombed: the jurist Paul Castro and his son Angelo, consistorial lawyer, his father served Girolamo Quaini professor of Scripture at the Studio, Count Emilio Raymond Strong Campolongo and doctors, and Jerome Olzignani Ottonello Pasino. The convent was home to Fra Paolo Sarpi.


The Gothic building is oriented north - south, parallel to the street. The façade supported by pilasters and arches, juts out on a short square; it opens an elegant portal Gothic - Lombard style in Vicenza stone and an oculus. The arcade covers a porch commissioned by Bartolomeo Campolongo and completed in 1510. The 10 octagonal columns come from the Basilica Antoniana and were part of the decoration of the Chapel of the fourteenth century, renovated at the time. On the porch there is a large Gothic portal (last decades of the 14th century), driven by blocks of white marble and red. The doors (15th century) are carved in the Lombard style. Along the wall between pilasters and arches opening single-light trefoil. The apse is hidden by the surrounding buildings.


The 14th century bell tower rises above the chapel on the right side, supported on pilasters and arches. The belfry is illuminated by Gothic windows. It was restored in 2004. On this occasion the bells were electrified and opened on March 21 Laetare Sunday.


Altare dell'AddolorataEdit

Work by Rinaldino di Francia sculptor.

Works of Matteo GhidoniEdit

The Miraculous Crucifix by DonatelloEdit

Left absidial chapel

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Parish Servants in PD - Nativity ' of B.V. Mary, on Accessed 20 July 2014.
  2. ^ The Servite return to Padua after 207 years / Church / Home - The Defence of the People
  3. ^ Marco Carminati, Donatello forgotten, on, Gruppo 24 ORE, 30 August 2009. Retrieved July 20, 2014.