The first document certifying the presence of a church in Candiana, which is dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel, dates back to 1097.
Since 1198 the church has been equipped with a baptismal font. Almost nothing is known about the ancient building next to the monastery requested by Cono di Calaone, apart from the fact that its foundation lies under the current church.
The few known documents are linked to a long dispute with St. Peter's Abbey in Modena which initially exercised primacy and jurisdiction over the church and the Benedictine monastery. As Pope Clemens III wished, the whole estate was commended to others, but it underwent a great decay. The last commendatory abbot was Tommaso Gradenigo: he left the monastery to the Canons Regular of St. Salvatore in Venice in 1462.
Bishop Barozzi's pastoral visit in 1489 well reports the situation at the time: the monastery was uninhabitable, the church and the bell tower were rickety. The new congregation immediately took action and entrusted the work to Lorenzo da Bologna who settled in Candiana until everything was finished. Barozzi himself inaugurated the new church in 1502.
From that moment also the monastery started developing in new forms and welcoming an increasing number of Canons. A new training school was established and this made many teachers and artists come to Candiana.
01 facciata

In the first half of the 18th century the church facade was renewed, as a consequence of its internal restructuring. What gave splendor to the Dome were the abundance of statues on the facade, the door tympanum and the inventive tripartite window that made it possible to illuminate the ceiling frescos and the nave. The work, which was led with extreme competence, was probably entrusted to Swiss architect Sardi, who also created the facade of St. Salvatore in Venice.
The bell tower needed many changes too, in order to adapt to the new architectural forms of the church.



The inside with a single nave is surrounded by many pillars topped by Corinthian capitals. Along the walls 15 big and quality statues by Bonazza stand out, while on the left side there's a small baptismal basin in the shape of a shell.
The top of the church is entirely painted. A trabeation occupies the upper part of the walls, starting the decoration on the ceiling, which is a work by Venetian Michelangelo Morlaiter (1729-1806). The scenes evoke biblical themes and allegories of salvation, and they are divided into three parts. Morlaiter also painted the false niches that depict 8 gray-monochrome statues, symbol of the cardinal virtues.
The church contains three other excellent canvas by Francesco Paglia called Palea (1635-1714): the first one illustrates the moment when St. Michael the Archangel sent Lucifer away, the second one represents St. Jerome and the third one the Eucharist mystery. The latter was the background for the altar of the Blessed, now used as the high altar.

Other anonymous paintings decorate the altars: one in particular represents Blessed Archangel Canetoli, an emblematic figure of the Canons Regular's congregation.
The most prestigious work, however, can be found on the presbytery: it's a majestic eighteenth-century ciborium in the shape of a temple topped by a canopy, which is entirely made of golden wood and has been built by the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament, following a precise symbolic plan.
Altare ligneoIt wasn't situated in the current central position originally, it stood on the left side of the transept: it dealt with the altar of the Blessed Sacrament, a work of such a rare beauty that it was imitated and reproduced in bronze in the Roman basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. There's no certain information about the artist: some people say Ambrogio Ratti, some others Agostino Radi. In any case, during his pastoral visit on 25 September 1634 he was able to amaze Padua's bishop Marco Antonio Correr and his entourage thanks to his elegance and magnificence.
The ciborium is made up of: a statue of the Redeemer who stands above a little hemispheric cupola, some angels, a representation of the church with two martyrs beside, the Annunciation with the Archangel Gabriel and Mary, the representation of God and the Holy Spirit.The Last Supper, located on a base supported by columns, completes the work together with the statues of St. Ambrose and St. Augustine.
This little temple is the perfect example of architectural proportions which recall the idea of divine nature and universal harmony. The symbology follows an accurate theological plan by the Canons themselves, who loved guiding the artists toward topics that were dear to the congregation.
Candiana's Dome "speaks" through images which illustrate the Eucharist mystery both in contents and in forms.
On the side of the ciborium there is an ancient choir with 62 wooden chairs of the late 15th century and the early-sixteenth-century organ, made by Brescian Costanzo Antegnati and then renovated many times.
The sacristy houses several artworks, among which an Assumption probably made by Palma the Young.

Fonti:  Gruppo di Studio Arte - Storia