The Roman Catholic Church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Bergamo in Lombardy is a basilica. Construction began in 1137 and remained unfinished. The north transept facade with the vestibule was created around 1350.
The north portal (Porta dei Leoni rossi) is covered with an elaborately designed vestibule, dated 1353 and revised in the 14th century. A round arch is supported by two pillars resting on lions made of red Veronese marble. (A pillar on a lion is a symbol of overcoming evil, so it is very common at church entrances . Iconographically, the lions indicate the function of the vestibule as a place of justice.) The archivolt of the round arch depicts a hunting scene. A loggia with three arcades with pointed cloverleaf arches opens above the arch, in which there are statues of Saints Barnabas, Vincent and Alexander (on horseback). Above it, another loggia covers a Madonna and Child, flanked by the Bergamasque saints Asteria and Grata. The Romanesque portal itself dates from the 12th and 13th centuries.
In front of the south portal (Porta dei Leoni bianchi) is a more simply designed vestibule from 1360. The outer pillars rest on white lions; the inner pair of pillars is supported by a male and a female crouching figure.
October 25, 2020
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