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Minor Prevostal Basilica of San Martino


The project for the church dedicated to San Martino and San Gioacchino was entrusted to the architect Alfonso Parrocchetti who laid it out in the neo-Renaissance style, with a wider central nave and two lower narrow side aisles. The keystone was laid in 1893 and construction work finished in 1901. This monumental structure was consecrated on 24th October 1903 by Cardinal Andrea Ferrari who prohibited the parish from moving the bones of the war dead into the church, thus foiling one of the main reasons for which the church had been built. The belfry is 72 metres tall and also in the neo-Renaissance style. It was co-designed by Prof. Benedetti, who was responsible for the artistic aspects, and the engineer Monti, who was in charge of the structural design. Construction work on the facade, designed by the architect Mariani, began in 1932 and only finished in 1959 due to lack of funds and the intervening war. The facade was inaugurated on 4th June of the same year by the Archbishop of Milan, Giovanni Battista Montini (who would later become Pope Paul VI); on 3rd March 1948, Pope Pius XII officially elevated the church to the status of Minor Roman Basilica.