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The new church of Sant'Andrea was built on 12 June 1472 and replaced the old abbey affiliated to the Benedictine monastery. The church, which housed the relic of the Precious Blood of Christ, was seized by the Gonzagas following a shrewd political campaign that culminated in Ludovico's son, Cardinal Francesco, being nominated archpriest. Luca Fancelli took up Leon Battista Alberti's challenge, starting with the façade and erecting at least two thirds of the interior by 1494. The church was ultimately completed in 1702, while Juvarra's cupola was added in 1758.The Gonzagas wished to establish a new focal point for the city, shifting the everyday centre from Piazza Sordello to modern-day Piazza Mantegna.

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