Relive early Christian history.
To reconstruct part of the early Christian period you need only go to the historic centre of Grado, where stands the early Christian Baptistery, a work of great historical and artistic value dating back to the latter half of the 6th century AD, characterized by its typical octagonal shape. The Baptistery is next to the Basilica of Santa Eufemia.
What is a Baptistery?
The baptistery came into being in the early Christian era as a building – annexed to a church – where the rite of baptism would be performed. The two places were separate because those who were not yet baptized were not admitted to the Eucharistic celebrations in the church.
The Baptistery in Grado was built by the Patriarch Probino of Benevento, as can be seen from his monogram on the front slab of the altar, where a cross is framed by doves and peacocks.
Octagonal plan and hexagonal font.
Inside, the Baptistery has a hexagonal baptismal font (similar to that of the Basilica of Aquileia) reconstructed according to the original. On the walls there is a mosaic, the clearest parts of which have been restored.
Completing the interior furnishings is an altar decorated with sculptural fragments inserted into an apse, a mosaic floor with geometric and floral decorations and a wooden ceiling.
Grado’s early Christian Baptistery is located in Campo Patriarca Elia. It is open to visitors, with free admission.