Church of San Martino (XI-XIII-XVII century)
The Church of San Martino in Este is the oldest religious building of the walled city. The first documents that attest to its presence date back to the beginning of the XI century, but probably its foundation is earlier still: some scholars place it even in the Lombard or Carolingian age because it is dedicated to San Martino di Tours, French Bishop who lived in the VI century A.D.
Despite some changes over the course of the centuries, the building has retained almost all of its medieval structure. The apse was expanded at the beginning of 1300s, incorporating the adjacent church of San Lorenzo, while in the 1600s the central body of the church was extended by approximately 4 metres. The gabled façade reveals the Romanesque architectural style; in the structure of the apse one finds constructive characteristics very similar to those present in the Basilica of Sant’Antonio in Padua. Distinctive element of the church of San Martino is the leaning bell tower, which is also the most antique structure of the entire monument. Inside the church there are some noteworthy works of art preserved: in the main chapel the eighteenth-century altar in marble by Antonio Bonazza, in the chapel of San Lorenzo a priceless fourteenth-century fresco by the school of Giotto, along the right wall of the nave the remains of a triptych portraying the Madonna with Child, San Pietro and other saints and a fragment of a fresco of the Crucifixion of Santa Margherita d’Antiochia.