Dei Servi Church

Dei Servi Church

Via dei Servi 28 (corner of Piazzetta dei Servi) - Modena - MO

Timetable:

Church destroyed by the bombings of 13 May 1944- Only a chapel remains -

The ancient Chiesa dei Servi, or Chruch of the Servites, which stood in Via dei Servi on the corner of Piazzetta dei Servi, was officiated by the Servite Friars and erected in the 13th century together with a hospital. The “Servants of the Virgin Mary” took possession of it at the end of the 14th century, when the hospital and the friars’ dwellings were closed. The church was then extended and a monastery built. Destroyed by a fire in 1534, the church was rebuilt several times, until the final 18th century construction with apse on Via dei Servi and façade facing the Piazzetta. It was closed to worshippers in 1783 and assigned to the Company of Saint Peter Martyr and later in 1854 to the Confraternity of Our Lady of Sorrows.

Bombings in 1944 destroyed the Chiesa dei Servi. A reddish stripe between the stones of the floor indicates the perimeter of the old church. The 14th century bell tower with a pointed arch window remains, with a chapel, called “Cappella dei Servi”, on the ground floor. Closed by a metal gate, the chapel has a central niche in the back wall containing the statue group in polychrome terracotta of Our Lady of Sorrows with Son, a work by Silvestro Reggianini (1794-1878). The group was situated on the main altar of the destroyed church and was unharmed by the bombing. Votive pictures hang on the chapel walls and several stone plaques are incorporated into the masonry.

Two stone plaques recall the destruction of the church and those who perished in the war; another was placed at the entrance to the church and recalls its transfer to the Confraternity of Our Lady of Sorrows; a final inscription recalls three dates: 1854 (the year in which the Duke ordered the transfer of the church to the Confraternity of Our Lady of Sorrows); 13 May 1944 (the day of the bombing), and 1950 (the year the Chapel was erected).


HOW TO GET THERE

 

Old city centre. From Piazzale Risorgimento take Viale delle Rimembranze. Near the Resti delle Mura, take Via Francesco Selmi and continue until you get to Via dei Servi on the left. The Cappella dei Servi, the only remaining trace of the destroyed Church, is on the corner of Piazzetta dei Servi.