Former Church of Sao Paulo Converso

Piazza Sant'Eufemia. (Open Map)


The hectic city scenario pauses every now and then. Piazzas and pretty small squares can be stumbled upon, breaking up the monotony of streets and intersections. The former church of San Paolo Converso alle Monache almost lurks in Piazza Santa Eufemia, it is a discreet building a little set back. The presence of some trees help to cover the façade of this building.
The richness of the decorative elements, the architectural features adopted and the presence of some interesting sixteenth century paintings are some of the most valuable assets of this church.
The building was constructed by a noblewoman, Paola Ludovica Torelli Countess of Guastalla; after selling her wealthy fiefdom she wanted to allocate the money raised to build a church and a monastery for the order of Madri Angeliche that she had just founded.
The construction of the church commenced on March 1st1549.
The building consists of a single nave with a barrel vaulted ceiling divided into two rooms. One is external, open to the public, with four chapels on each side; the inner room is reserved for the nuns, with five chapels on each side.
In the second post-war period the church was used as a registration room for a famous record company.
On December 21st, 1995 an archbishop’s decree was granted for non religious use and the monument was outsourced to the Foundazione Metropolitan which turned into a multifunctional space for cultural events and exhibitions.
The monumental façade with two orders was commenced in 1611 and is characterised by sumptuous decorative features and the play of light and shadow bestowed by the prominent overhangs protruding from the façade.
The high-relief on the portal of the "Conversion of S. Paolo” is a subject also taken up in the fresco in the presbytery together with the "Miracle" and the "Martyrdom", by Antonio Campi (1564).