The Sant’Andrea Church is located in the medieval part of Padua. The original church was built in the 12th century, but it underwent many reconstructions in the course of the centuries. It is best known for the “Monument of the Cat” in front of the church.
Sant’Andrea Church Padua
Address, opening hours and admission
Address: Via Sant’Andrea, 6 – Padua. Admission: Free.
History and description
The church is dedicated to St. Andrew the Apostle. The first version of the church was constructed before 1130. The layout was completely changed in 1630 and again in 1875. On this last occasion the church, which originally consisted of one nave only, was transformed into one with three naves. The naves are separated by Corinthian columns.
On the left side some features of the 12th century façade, traces of some pilasters and a large rose window, are still visible.
The Neo-Renaissance bell tower, was reconstructed at the beginning of the twentieth century.
Highlights are some bas-reliefs by Antonio Bonazza.
Giovan Pietro Possenti was responsible for the altarpiece “Madonna with Child and Saint Andrew”.
The writer Domenico Lazzarini is buried near the sacristy.
Monument of the Cat
On the square in front of the church stands a stone sculpture called Gatta di Sant’Andrea. The “cat”, which is really a lion, sits on an ancient Roman pedestal.
The statue was taken to Padova after the inhabitants of the Sant’Andrea district had beaten Aldobrandino d’Este I in battle. The statue was returned after peace had been made. It was replaced by a bigger statue, which was made by a Master Daniel.
In 1797 someone tried to destroy the statue, probably mistaking it for a Venetian lion. The sculptor Felice Chieregin restored it to its original state.
In the recent past the statue was damaged several times by people who might have gotten their driving licences a bit too early. In 2013 a new restoration was necessary.
Nobody knows why the lion is called a cat.