The imposing church that we see nowadays is the result of the rebuilding carried out by the Dukes in the years 1708-31 (design by G. A. Torri). The previous church was oriented in an West East direction, not in the actual one (South North), and appeared rather than run down, when compared with the new Ducal Palace°° nearby.
As the palatine chapel, its pews were assigned to respect a strict hierarchy: even today the names of the families can still be seen, carved in the wood.
The facade presents gigantic pilasters and a baroque window.
The interior is characterized by the enormous half-columns bearing the weight of the ellipsoidal dome. Among them, the Evangelists carved by Giuseppe Maria Mazza and Saint Dominic’s stories painted by Antonio Consetti.
On the left of the entrance, Redentore in casa di Marta e Maria, a wonderful group of statues in terracotta by Antonio Begarelli (1544).
In the right wing, the baroque baldachin indicates the previous direction of the church and contains the Rosary altar of the 18th century. On the right, an altar dedicated to San Pietro from Verone (with a canvas by Francesco Monti); on the left, Saint Thomas altar (a painting by Giambettino Cignaroli) and the grave of the blessed Marco from Modena (died in 1498), patron of students.
Behind the main altar of the church, wooden high-backed chairs are overshadowed by the rich frame of a painting by the Flamish artist Ignazio Stern, David playing a harp (1735).
Also the mosaic on the floor and the high dome are interesting.
In the left wing: on the right Saint Pope Pius V altar, with a canvas by Francesco Vellani (1730); in the centre, Saint Dominic’s altar; on the left Saint Vincent’s altar by Zoboli.