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 spire-shaped 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 building, with a basilica plan, was ordered by Elia, archbishop of Aquileia also fleeing an invasion: that of the Lombards.
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, to reaffirm his loyalty to council of Chalcedon, decided to dedicate the new church to Saint Euphemia of Chalcedon, patroness 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 the cult of Saint Euphemia of Chalcedon in the Larian land by erecting a Basilica dedicated to this saint on the Comacina Island.
Following the complicated vicissitudes of its diocese, between the sixth and the beginning of the seventh century, the basilica was the seat of the pro-Roman and pro-Byzantine branch in which the patriarchate was split, until the definitive separation between the two churches and the constitution , in the years 717 and 739 of the Patriarchate of Grado.
Subjected to the increasingly strict control of the Dukes of Venice, of whose lands it was the mother church, repeatedly involved in military clashes for the never dormant rivalry with the neighboring Patriarchs of Aquileia, the basilica of Sant'Eufemia began to decline 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 1451, however, with the abolition of the Gradense title and the establishment 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 1455 the current bell tower was erected, surmounted by an embossed copper wind vane statue of 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 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 salients and pilasters and opened by three large windows, below which you can see the traces of the ancient narthex, which has now disappeared. The bell tower, with a Venetian spire, is leaning against it on the right side.
The interior, large and bright, it is divided into three naves, delimited by columns in polychrome marble, partly from the Roman period, as well as the capitals, supporting the arches. On the upper part and along the perimeter walls, there are numerous and large windows, which illuminate the environment and the overlying trussed roof.
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 with fifteenth-century frescoes, there is the golden altarpiece in embossed and chiseled silver, donated to the basilica in 1372 by the Venetian nobleman Donato Mazzalorsa. Divided into three registers, within polylobate frames, it depicts: in the upper one the Annunciation, 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 St. 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