Cathedral of San Lorenzo, where you can find the Holy Grail!


As I wrote in the previous post, Genoa offers numerous interesting places to visit. The one I’m going to describe is the cathedral of San Lorenzo (Saint Lawrence cathedral). It is the most important church in Genoa. This is also one of the symbols of the city … so you should see it absolutely!

Address: Piazza San Lorenzo

Opening hours:

Monday-Sunday  9.00am – 12.00pm and  3.00pm – 6.00pm


The cathedral was inaugurated in 1118. Money for the construction came from the successful enterprises of the Genoese fleets in the crusades. The Romanesque structure remained untouched. The frescoes of a religious subject were added during the Middle Ages. During the XV century was decided to add two towers. However, only one was finished. Another one remains uncompleted and became a loggia.


The cathedral is a mix of different styles. The facade is built in Ligurian, black and white Gothic Style. The structure is constructed in Romanian Style. The interiors are made in Baroque and Gothic Style.

Museo del Tesoro (Museum of the Treasury)

When you enter the church on the right you will see the entrance of the museum.

Opening hours:

Monday-Saturday  9.00am – 12.00pm and  3.00pm – 6.00pm

Sunday closed

Tickets: 6€ adults/ 5€ children

This is the museum that shows the richness of the Catholic church. You can see here the precious crucifixes, gold crowns, silver sculptures and … holy grail!

Here I link the most important pieces:


Relique di San Lorenzo (reliquary of St. Lawrence)

San Lorenzo, the patron of the cathedral. The silver statue is dated back to 1828. It represents the saint holding a palm and trellis a tool of his torture.






Sacro Catino (the Sacred Bowl)

(Roman craftsmanship I-V century A.D.) According to history, this hexagonal emerald-coloured glass bowl was brought to the city of Genoa after the conquest of Cesarea in 1101. It is believed that it is the Holy Grail, the cup used during the Last Supper. At the beginning of XIX century, Napoleon’s troops took it as a war booty. After a Napoleons Époque, the bowl was given back to Genoa.


Crocifisso d’oro (gold crucifix)genua,san,lorenzo,kosciol,liguria,swiety,graal,skarb

this is an example of the expertise of Byzantine goldsmiths. It is dated back in the XIII century. The gold, precious gems and natural pearls contain a holy reliquary: the fragments of the Cross of Christ.




 Due reliquari dei bracci (Two reliquary arms)

They both contain the bones. The first arm contains the bones of St. Anne. On its fingers, you can notice the rings that are dated back to medieval times. The second arm contains the bones of St. James the Apostle.




Piatto di San Giovanni (platter of St. John)genua,san,lorenzo,kosciol,liguria,swiety,graal,skarb

dates back to I century A.D. It is said that it was used to serve the head of the St John the Baptist to the Herod.


World War II

During the World War II on the 9th February 1941, the British battleship fired a bomb into the genoas cathedral. The bomb reached the church, punched a cathedral roof and … didn’t explode! That event was called the Saint Lawrence miracle. It is still possible to see the bomb that was left in the church. You can see it on the right side of the church.



It is said that one of a cathedral sculptors had a dog. Unfortunately, the dog died during the cathedral construction. The sculptor loved so much his animal that he made a small sculpture of his doggie. You can see it on the right side of the right entrance door.

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