Santa Corona is a medieval church located in Vicenza, and contains the Valmarana chapel (circa 1576), whose design is attributed to the architect Andrea Palladio. Palladio himself is buried in this church. The church was founded by the Blessed (Beato) Bishop Bartolomeo di Breganze, during the 1200s to house a thorn from the supposed relic of the crown (corona) of thorns forced on Jesus during his passion. The thorn had been given to this bishop as a gift from Louis IX of France. The church belonged to the Dominican order until suppression during the Napoleonic era.
The church has an altarpiece depicting, the Baptism of Christ (1500-1502) by Giovanni Bellini. The Thiene chapel has frescos by Michelino da Besozzo, and an altarpiece depicting an Enthroned Madonna and child venerated by Saints Peter and Pius V by Giovanni Battista Pittoni . Other works in the church include an Adoration of the Magi’’ by Veronese, a Madonna of the Star‘ by Marcello Fogolino, a St Mary Magdalen with Saints Jerome, Paola and Monica, (1414-1415) by Bartolomeo Montagna, a canvas depicting St Anthony and friars distributing alms to poor (1518) by Leandro Bassano, and two canvases with depictions of St Sebastian and St Martin by Battista da Vicenza.
After the death of one of his patrons, Antonio Valmarana, likely in 1576, Palladio designed this funereal chapel. Santa Corona had already been the church were other members of the family had been interred. Ten years earlier, Palladio had designed the Palazzo Valmarana in town for the family. The chapel was constructed by 1597, and family members transferred here. While there is no documentary evidence linking this design to Palladio, it highly resembles his chapels found at the Il Redentore in Venice.
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