La patriarchal basilica di Eufemia it is the main religious building of Grado (GO) and ancient cathedral of the suppressed Patriarchate of Grado.
From 6th century, stands on the square of the ancient patriarchal city, flanked by the baptistery and the cusp-like bell tower of the fifteenth century.
On the site there was a previous 5th century basilica, perhaps desired by the metropolitan of Aquileia Niceta (454-485) at the time of Attila's invasion. The basilica-shaped building was ordered by Elijah, archbishop of Aquileia who was also fleeing an invasion: that of the Longobards.
Almost at the same time, Elias, in contrast to Pope Pelagius II following the condemnation of the Three Chapters, he chose the path of autocephaly, proclaiming himself patriarch, and, in order to reaffirm his loyalty to the council of Chalcedon, decided to dedicate the new church to St. Euphemia of Chalcedon, patron of that council, perhaps consecrating it November 3 580. At the same time also Agrippino, bishop of Como and tenacious supporter of the schism, spread in the Larian land the cult of Sant'Eufemia of Calcedonia erecting on the Comacina Island a Basilica dedicated to this saint.
Following the complicated difficulties of his diocese, between the 6th and the beginning of the 7th century, the basilica was the seat of the pro-Roman and pro-Byzantine branch in which the patriarchy was divided, until the final separation between the two churches and the constitution , in the 717 and 739 years of the Grado Patriarchate.
Subjected to the increasingly strict control of the Dukes of Venice, of whose lands was the mother church, repeatedly involved in the military clashes due to the never ceased rivalry with the neighboring Patriarchs of Aquileia, the basilica of Sant'Eufemia began to decay starting from 1105, when the new patriarch, Giovanni Gradenigo, chose to reside in the capital: Venezia. The basilica, however, retained the patriarchal professorship even after the pontifical recognition, in 1177, of the Venetian residence of the patriarchs.
In the 1451, however, with the suppression of the title gradense and the institution of the new Patriarchate of Venice, the basilica was incorporated into the new diocese, losing the title of cathedral, transferred to the basilica of San Pietro di Castello, to Venice. In the 1455 the current bell tower was erected, surmounted by an embossed copper vault statue of the 1462, depicting St. Michael the Archangel.
The 22 September 1888 the Bishop of Gorizia Mons. Luigi Mattia Zorn consecrates the Basilica and the altar to the saints Ermagora and Fortunato.
It currently belongs toarchdiocese of Gorizia of which it is parish, the current archpriest-parish priest of the Basilica is Monsignor Armando Zorzin from 1999.
The exterior, in style early Christian, it is in exposed brick and sandstone and has remodeling dating back to the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries, partly removed with the restorations carried out in the mid-twentieth century.
The facade, facing the Piazza del Patriarcato, is divided into salient and pilasters and opened by three large windows, below which we can glimpse the traces of the ancient narthex, now disappeared. The bell tower, with a cusp, with a Venetian appearance, is placed on the right side of it.
The interior, large and bright, it is divided into three naves, bounded by columns in polychrome marble, partly from the Roman era, as well as the capitals, supporting the arches. On the top and along the perimeter walls, there are numerous large windows that illuminate the environment and the overhanging roof trusses.
Remarkable is the interior mosaic decoration, in particular regarding the large floor mosaic dating back to the end of the 6th century. On the left side of the central aisle there is a tall hexagonal ambo, with sculptural decorations of the Thirteenth century.
In the presbytery, decorated at the top by fifteenth-century frescoes, there is a gold and silver chiseled shovel, donated to the basilica in 1372 by the Venetian nobleman Donato Mazzalorsa. Partially divided into three registers, within polylobed frames, it depicts: in the upper one the Annunciation, the Christ and the symbols of the Evangelists, in the lower one a series of arches with figures of Saints and, in the central register, Christ enthroned and Saint Mark celebrating Mass.
The basilica houses the statue of the Madonna degli Angeli which, on the occasion of the party of the Perdon of Barbana (first Sunday of July), is carried in a procession in the lagoon to the sanctuary of Barbana.
Address: Campo Patriarca Elia, Grado (Gorizia)
Phone: 0431 80146