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Ex chiesa e ex convento di san Cristoforo
A church dedicated to St Christopher existed in Lodi from 1150-1200 and belonged to the order of the Humiliati: in particular, it was called S. Christoforus de Laude and is believed to have been standing where the current one was later rebuilt.
The Prior of the Cenobio degli Olivetani di Villanova al Sillaro, with the intention of founding a new congregation, bought the church and monastery of S. Cristoforo degli Umiliati in 1522 and decided to rebuild it.
The project was attributed to the architect Pellegrino Tibaldi (1527 - 1596), a protégé of St Charles Borromeo, for whom he had supervised the Opera del Duomo in Milan.
The foundation stone of the new church was laid on 24th February 1564 and it was completed and blessed in 1586.
The monastery was commenced the following year, in 1586: Tibaldi is no longer named, but Maestro Pietro Piantanida, an engineer, is mentioned in the papers as director of works and Messrs Andrea, Giacomo and Gianni di Specy as builders. Scholars speculate that Pellegrino Tibaldi only provided the design and did not supervise the construction. Construction work on the monastery lasted about ten years.
The convent has two floors and a colonnaded courtyard. The granite columns, elegant in their elongated form, rest on a high base and support round arches. The arches are emphasised by slender profiles that are repeated as a string-course element around the perimeter of the portico. The oldest part is the one opposite the entrance end, which is complete with a raised central body and portico on the sides. This space receives light from an oculus at the top and a large French window at the head. Along the walls of the hall, cross-vaulted rooms open out on both sides, possibly once dormitories, the existing dividing walls being later additions.
The old convent is now the seat of the Province of Lodi.