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Cathedral Museum, Ferrara

Cathedral Museum, Ferrara

Cathedral Museum (Museo della Cattedrale) in Ferrara is a collection of many ancient things from the iconic Cathedral of Saint George the Martyr. Masterpieces of art that has been stored in the temple for centuries are exhibited here. Most of the exhibits date back to 14-19 centuries.

History of the museum

The ideological inspirer of the foundation of the museum was Giuseppe Agnelli, director of the library Ariostea. In 1906 he created the organization Ferrarie Decus, designed to protect and preserve the local historical and artistic heritage, especially items that came from the cathedral. The museum was opened on October 27, 1929 thanks to the assistance of Archbishop Ruggero Bovelli and the Mayor of Renzo Ravenna. The masterpieces from the church Chiesa Madre Estense were immediately transferred here. The museum director made an agreement with the municipality, according to which in 1930-1932 the collection was replenished with valuable samples from the Lapidary Museum.

For a long time, the institution was situated in the rooms above the atrium of the cathedral. But at the end of the 20th century the question arose about a new exhibition space, more suitable for a modern museum. The choice fell on the church San Romano, which is adjoined the main temple. Restoration work was carried out there, and in 2000, on the anniversary of the birth of Christ, the museum occupied a new premises.

Exposition of the museum

Collections of the museum consist of works of church and municipal property, beginning with the early Middle Ages and until the 19th century. It is divided into 3 halls. The first stores various manuscripts, lapidary specimens of the 8th century from the ancient city of Voghenza, as well as a miniature reconstruction of the bell tower of the cathedral. Valuable relics of the 14th and 15th centuries, clothing of the cardinals and bishops, as well as the painting Madonna col Bambino are exhibited in the second hall. The third hall is, in a way, a cherry on the cake – an gem of the entire collection. The most valuable samples of the museum are exhibited here:

  • Doors of the cathedral organ. This is one of the most famous works of the art school of Ferrara, performed in 1469. Each of them has a height of 349 cm and a width of 152 cm. These are two beautiful tempera paintings on canvas, which depict the paintings of San Giorgio e la principessa and Annunciazione.
  • Cycle of months. These are wonderful reliefs from the Gate of the Months of the cathedral, destroyed in the 18th century. They were executed by an anonymous master in 1220–1230.
  • La Madonna della Melagrana. The figure, created by the famous Italian sculptor Jacopo della Quercia in 1403-1408.
  • Tapestries. A series of 8 beautiful tapestries by Flemish craftsmen of the 16th century.
  • Capital from the cathedral gate. The relief Storie di san Giovanni Battista of the 12th century is a part of the ruined Gate of the Months from Cathedral of Saint George.

How to get there

The museum is located in the historic center, in the heart of Ferrara, on Via S. Romano, 1. The famous cathedral rises nearby, and other attractions of the city are nearby: the National Museum of Italian Judaism and the Castle of Saint Michele. In 2 minutes walk from the museum there is a bus stop Corso Porta Reno (routes 3, 4, 11, 390).

Opening hours: from 9:30 to 13:00 and from 15:00 to 18:00. Monday is a day off. Phone number: (+39) 0532 761299.

Admission: the price of the full ticket is 6 euros, with a disocount (groups of 15 people, persons aged 18–25 and over 65) – 3 euros. For young people under the age of 18 – admission is free. Data can be changed.


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