What to see in Este, itinerary including the main monuments and places of interest, including the Cathedral of Santa Tecla, the Carrarese Castle, the Church of the Zoccoli and the Archaeological Museum.
Located in the province of Padua, at the southern limit of the Euganean Hills, Este corresponds to the ancient Ateste, which was one of the first paleo-Venetian nuclei where a remarkable activity linked to the metallurgical industry developed.
In the past, from the third century it was an ally of the Romans, later it went through a period of decline due to the barbarian invasions.
It experienced a new development around the tenth century, when it became a fiefdom of the Este family, from which it derived its name.
Subsequently it passed under the dominion of Padua, then it was conquered first by the Scaligeri in the fourteenth century, then by the Carraresi, who dominated it until the early fifteenth century, when they spontaneously decided to submit to Venice.
The Cathedral of Santa Tecla, rebuilt in the eighteenth century over a fourth century structure, preserves inside remarkable works of art, including a painting by Tiepolo, placed in the central apse and depicting Santa Tecla that frees the city from the plague, and some canvases by Zanchi, located in the sacristy.
The National Archaeological Museum Atestino, set up in the Mocenigo Palace of the sixteenth century, exhibits very rare paleovenetian finds, including the famous Situla Welcome, as well as numerous material from the Sanctuary of the Goddess Reitia.
The Castle, rebuilt by the Carraresi in the mid-fourteenth century above the remains of the fortress of Azzo II d’Este, is composed of an irregular perimeter wall, about 1000 meters long and characterized by 12 towers.
Via Matteotti, which crosses the ancient village, overlooks elegant stately buildings, characterized by porticoed facades, and the clock tower.
In Piazza Maggiore there are the eighteenth-century Palazzo of the municipality, with a loggia, and the Palazzetto degli Scaligeri, dating back to the fourteenth century but heavily remodeled in later periods.
Walking along the via di San Martino, characterized by Portici, you come across the church of San Martino, where the original Romanesque apse is still visible.Recommended readings
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In the Sanctuary of Santa Maria delle Grazie, rebuilt in the eighteenth century at the point where an ancient votive chapel once stood, a Byzantine icon with the Virgin is preserved.
The Church of Santa Maria della Consolazione, also known as Chiesa degli Zoccoli, was built in the early sixteenth century, together with the convent later annexed to the hospital.
The interior houses the Virgin and Child, a remarkable panel by Cima da Conegliano, as well as an Epiphany made by Cignaroli.
Not far away, in via Pellesina, there is the Church of Santa Maria della Salute, having an octagonal baroque interior.
On the slopes of the surrounding hills, it is also possible to see some patrician buildings, including Villa Contarini, the Palazzo del Principe and Villa Manin.