Chiesa di Santa Maria del Gradaro

The historical-religious tradition is that this was the location of the martyrdom of Saint Longinus, the Roman centurion who brought the relic of the Blood of Christ to Mantua (the relic is now kept in the Basilica of Sant'Andrea).
In Romanesque-Gothic style, Santa Maria del Gradaro has a façade characterised by a typical central rose window (with woven border) and by a door with marble columns, as well as internal architecture with three naves with pointed arches.
In 1775 the church was turned into a military warehouse by will of Empress Maria Teresa of Austria, and therefore stopped performing its religious purpose.
Maintained as a warehouse, during the Second World War it became a concentration camp and refugee camp.
In 1952, it was purchased by the Municipality of Mantua, who promoted its restoration, thus making it possible to open it to religious functions once again in 1966.
(Eleonora Corti)
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