San Giovanni Battista Church

San Giovanni Battista Church

Via Emilia Centro (near Piazza Matteotti) - Modena - MO - 41121


The Church doesn't open for celebrations. For any information, please email to

Ownership: Confraternita di San Giovanni Battista

The church is located on the western side of Piazza Matteotti facing out on Via Emilia.  Erected in Lombard times, it was originally dedicated to Saint Michael, whose name was also given to the old road that ran along the east side of the church as far as Via Taglio.

It was reconstructed in the XVI century and restored to its current appearance in 1723 based on the design of Gerolamo Frigemelica Roberti.

Its rounded shape terminates with a tower at the far end. The church has been officiated since 1st August 1774 by the Confraternity of San Giovanni Battista della Buona Morte, a company that assisted those sentenced to the death penalty. The external door bears a stone plaque commemorating the transfer of the Confraternity to this church, which was then renamed the Church of Saint John the Baptist. The terracotta façade has four Doric pilasters supporting an architrave with a triangular pediment above. The interior has a central plan with an ellipsoidal dome and three altars. The church has taken its name from Confraternita di San Giovanni della Buona Morte which has been officiating since August 1, 1774.

Above the door is the choir with organ built by Agostino Traeri, while the main altar is home to “The beheading of John the Baptist” by Francesco Vellani. Of major artistic value is the splendid terracotta group depicting the Lamentation over Dead Christ, the work of the famous Modenese sculptor Guido Mazzoni, who executed it in 1477-80 for the Confraternity of the Good Death. It was moved to its current location in 1853.
A terracotta group made by the modenese artist Guido Mazzoni "Mourning on dead Christ" (1477/79) is hosted in the church. A wooden statue of St. John the Baptist, most likely by Bartolomeo Bonascia, is preserved in the sacristy.

How to get there
Historic center area
For disabled people: entrance: two 13 cm steps