The Basilica of Santa Eufemia, characterized by early Christian buildings, stands in the splendid setting of Campo dei Patriarchi in the “old town” in Grado.
Nearby you will also find the fifteenth-century bell tower characterized by the Anzolo San Michele which represents the symbol of Grado; Baptistery; Lapidary e the Basilica of Santa Maria della Grazie, the oldest in all the town.
The origins of the basilica are very ancient. In fact, from the fourth century there was already the “small basilica of Petrus“, on which Niceta laid the foundations for a new church in the early fifth century.
The new building, however, was completed in 579 by the bishop Elia who now resided permanently in Grado. Elia dedicated the basilica to the Aquileian protomartyrs Ermacora, Fortunato and Eufemia (martyr of Chalcedon), in such a way as to reaffirm the full fidelity of the Church of Aquileia to the anti-Arian resolutions of the Council of Chalcedon.
The interior of the basilica is structured in three naves on columns with capitals that support the arches.
In the apse basin you will find a large fresco depicting Christ in an almond, surrounded by the symbols of the Evangelists, the Madonna, Santa Ermacora, San Giovanni Battista and San Fortunato.
Above the altar it will not be difficult for you to identify the gilded silver altarpiece, a masterpiece of the Venetian goldsmith’s art, Donato Mazzalorsa.
You will be fascinated by the 11th century pulpit, supported by six columns with foliated capitals covered with reliefs depicting the symbols of the Evangelists and a cross. The pulpit is also covered with a Moorish-style dome on inflected trefoil arches (most likely an addition from the Gothic period).
In the left aisle you can appreciate the “trichora“, a cell similar in shape to the chapel of San Marco, while in the right aisle the mausoleum that preserves original parts such as the brick vault and the mosaic, in which the monogram of Elia stands out (HELIAS EPISCOPUS) . The safe that holds the treasure of the Cathedral is walled up on the wall.
Thanks to the restorations made over the years, you too can travel the journey of the catechumens through the floor mosaics, where there is also a mosaic representing the “Castrum of Grado”
The floor of the Cathedral is very similar to the Byzantine stylistic canons (schematic and geometric), the most famous motif is that of the underwater wave. The mosaics also have a significant value, proven by the approximately 40 epigraphs they commemorate, the name of those who contributed to the expenses for the realization.
Basilica of Santa Eufemia
Campo Patriarca Elia
34073 Grado (GO)
Tel.: +39 0431 80146
Fax: +39 0431 80146
Winter: from Monday to Sunday from 8 a.m. till 6 p.m.
Sommer: from Monday till Sunday from 8 a.m. till 7 p.m.