The Basilica of San Domenico is one of the major churches in Bologna. The remains of Saint Dominic, founder of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans), are buried inside the exquisite shrine Arca di San Domenico, made by Nicola Pisano and his workshop, Arnolfo di Cambio and with later additions by Niccolò dell'Arca and the young Michelangelo
The square in front of the church is paved with pebbles, as it was in medieval times. The square was used by the faithful to listen to the sermon from the preacher from the pulpit on the left corner of the church. It was also the original cemetery.
The column in the middle of the square is a brickwork column with the bronze statue of St Dominic (1627) and on the back of the square a column in marble, bricks and copper of the Madonna of the Rosary, after a design by Guido Reni (1632), commemorating the end of the plague in the city.
Behind the first column stands the tomb of Rolandino de’ Passeggeri by Giovanni (1305) and on the left, adjoining a house, the tomb of Egidio Foscarari (1289), enriched with an ancient Byzantine marble arch with relief works from the 9th century.
The Romanesque façade dates from 1240 and was restored in 1910 by the architect Raffaele Faccioli. In the center is a large, embroidered rose window. The lunette above the portal contains a copy (1921) of St Dominic blessing Bologna by Lucia Casalini-Torelli (1677–1762).
On the left side of the façade is the Lodovico Ghisilardi chapel in Renaissance style.It was built as an example of Vitruvian classicism by the architect Baldassarre Peruzzi around 1530.