By Costanza Beltrami

Baroque architect Antonio Petrini died on 8 April 1701 in Würzburg, Germany. Born in Calavino di Trento in the north of Italy in 1621, Petrini soon settled in Franconia, where he became well-known thanks to his work on the walls of the city of Würzburg. He also designed the fortifications of the city of Erfurt, in particular the Petersberger Tor (1668-73), whose rusticated masonry evokes the models represented in treatises by Sebastiano Serlio and Jacopo Vignola. Other notable secular commissions are the residence of the Commander of the Teutonic Knights (1694), and the Fürstenbau pavilion of the Julius Hospital in Würzburg, built between 1690 and 1714.

The architect also designed ecclesiastical buildings in a severe Counter-Refomation style, for example the Carmelite church of Würzburg (1662–9) and the Franciscan church at Paderborn (1667–9). Thin columns are used in both churches to emphasize the height of the space, an outstanding feature of Petrini’s first securely-documented ecclesiastical building, the collegiate church of Haug (1670–91, destroyed during WWII but subsequently restored). This is considered the first large Baroque building in Franconia, and its façade reveals a mix of northern European and Italian elements which is typical of Petrini’s style.

Other important commissions were designs for the façade of Würzburg Cathedral (1677), the rebuilding of St Stephan in Bamberg (1677), and the completion of the university church in Würzburg (1696–1703), which had remained unfinished for more than a century.

Reference: Birgitta Ringbeck, “Petrini, Antonio,” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online,

Petersberger Tor, 1668-73, Erfurt

University Church (now known as Neubaukirche), 1696–1703, Würzburg

Collegiate Church, 1670–91, Haug

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