Cathedrals in Italy

Bolzano Cathedral

Cathedral of the Diocese of Bolzano conceals the vestiges of an early Christian, a late Medieval and a Romanesque basilica (1180). After one century the site has opened into a new imposing construction, completed around 1420, synthesizing, over a few decades, the intervention of Lombard mastery with the Gothic style of the Suevian mastery. The bell tower, with an open fretwork spire in sandstone, which stands 65m tall, wa ...
Founded: 1180 | Location: Bolzano, Italy

Verona Cathedral

Verona Cathedral was erected after two Palaeo-Christian churches on the same site had been destroyed by an earthquake in 1117. Built in Romanesque style, the cathedral was consecrated on September 13, 1187. The structure was later modified by several renovation interventions, although the plan has remained unchanged. The façade is divided into three parts, with a pediment and a two storied projecting porch or prot ...
Founded: 1187 | Location: Verona, Italy

Brixen Cathedral

The bishop"s residence has been located in Brixen since the sixth century. Between 960 and 990 AD, Brixen supplanted nearby Säben as the episcopal see, and has retained its status since that time. Brixen Cathedral is the highest-ranking church in South Tyrol, and historically one of the most interesting. Today, the cathedral thus reflects almost all architectural styles from the Early Romanesque. The original Otton ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Brixen, Italy

Brescia New Cathedral

Construction of the Brescia New Cathedral, Duomo Nuovo, was begun in 1604 at the site where the paleo-Christian 5th-6th century basilica of San Pietro de Dom was located. The original commission was given to Andrea Palladio, but the commission was subsequently granted to the architect Giovanni Battista Lantana. He was aided by Pietro Maria Bagnadore. Work was interrupted during a season of plague around 1630. Work s ...
Founded: 1604 | Location: Brescia, Italy

Trieste Cathedral

Trieste Cathedral (Basilica cattedrale di San Giusto Martire), dedicated to Saint Justus, is the seat of the Bishop of Trieste. The first religious edifice on the site was built in the 6th century, using part of the existing structure. Perhaps the entrance to a monument, this was commonly known as the Capitoline Temple, as a pyramidal altar with the symbols of the Capitoline Triad (Jupiter, Juno and Minerva) had been foun ...
Founded: 1320 | Location: Trieste, Italy

Brescia Old Cathedral

The Duomo Vecchio or Old Cathedral (also called La Rotonda because of its round layout) is a rustic circular Romanesque co-cathedral standing next to the Duomo Nuovo (New Cathedral) of Brescia. It is one of the most important examples of Romanesque round church in Italy. While some claims for an earlier construction exist, the earliest documents state the cathedral was built in the 11th century on the site of ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Brescia, Italy

Sorrento Cathedral

Sorrento Cathedral, dedicated to Saints Philip and James, was first built around the 11th century and was rebuilt in the 15th century in Romanesque style. The cathedral bell tower has three storeys, and is decorated with a clock. The base of the bell tower dates to the time of the Roman Empire. The façade dates from 1924. The main doors are of the 11th century from Constantinople. The interior, on a Latin cro ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Sorrento, Italy

Erice Cathedral

Erice Cathedral (Chiesa Madre or Duomo dell"Assunta) was built in the 14th century by King Frederick of Aragon for defensive purposes, because from the bell tower it was possible to monitor the surrounding area and the plains at the foot of Mount Erice.The original forms were in 14th century Gothic style with decorative mosaics and frescoes.In 1856 the church was restored or rather rebuilt, so the mosaics and frescoe ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Erice, Italy

Trapani Cathedral

Trapani Cathedral was built by order of Alfonso the Magnanimous in 1421 and was elevated to a parish in the second half of the fifteenth century. In 1844, when the Diocese of Trapani was created, the church was made its episcopal seat. Over the following centuries, the building was modified several times and its current appearance dates from the restoration of the eighteenth century by the architect Giovanni Biagio Ami ...
Founded: 1421 | Location: Trapani, Italy

Torcello Cathedral

The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta is a basilica church on the island of Torcello. It is a notable example of Venetian-Byzantine architecture, one of the most ancient religious edifices in the Veneto, and containing the earliest mosaics in the area of Venice. According to an ancient inscription, it was founded by the exarch Isaac of Ravenna in 639, when Torcello was still a rival to the young nearby settlement at Venic ...
Founded: 639 AD | Location: Venice, Italy

Albenga Cathedral

Albenga Cathedral  is the seat of the Diocese of Albenga-Imperia. A church has occupied the site since the turn of the 4th to the 5th century, but the present structure is medieval, built in about 1100, with a major rebuilding in the second half of the 12th century, and another in 1582. A restoration project in the 1970s largely returned the building to the medieval structure. The campanile was rebuilt in its present f ...
Founded: c. 1100 | Location: Albenga, Italy

Treviso Cathedral

Treviso Cathedral originates from the 6th century and stands in an area where during the Ancient Roman period there were a temple, a theatre and possibly some baths. In the 11th-12th centuries the church was remodelled in Romanesque style. In 1768 it was demolished and rebuilt in Neoclassical style, only the crypt remaining from the previous edifice. The current façade dates from 1836. Treviso Cathedral was involved in t ...
Founded: 1768 | Location: Treviso, Italy

Duomo of San Giorgio

The Duomo of San Giorgio is a Baroque church located in Modica. The building is the final result of the eighteenth century reconstruction, which took place following the disastrous earthquakes that struck Modica in 1542, in 1613 and in 1693. The reconstruction started in 1702, and ended in 1738. Further works were made until the affixing of the iron cross on the spire in 1842, which marked the definitive appearance of th ...
Founded: 1702 | Location: Modica, Italy

Chiavari Cathedral

Chiavari Cathedral was built in 1610-1613 and it was given to Carmelites. The latest appearance dates from the 19th and early 20th century.
Founded: 1610-1613 | Location: Chiavari, Italy

Monza Cathedral

Monza Cathedral (Duomo di Monza) is not in fact a cathedral, as Monza has always been part of the Diocese of Milan, but is in the charge of an archpriest who has the right to certain episcopal vestments including the mitre and the ring. The basilica, which would in essence have been complete by 603, is believed to have been commissioned towards the end of the sixth century by the Lombard Queen of Italy, Theode ...
Founded: 1300 | Location: Monza, Italy

Pavia Cathedral

Pavia Cathedral is the largest in the city and seat of the Diocese of Pavia. The construction was begun in the 15th century on the site of two pre-existing Romanesque, 'twin' cathedrals (Santo Stefano and Santa Maria del Popolo). The marble facing of the exterior was never completed. Until recently, next to the cathedral stood the Civic Tower (Torre Civica), known in 1330 and enlarged in 1583. It collapsed o ...
Founded: 1488 | Location: Pavia, Italy

Caltanissetta Cathedral

The Cathedral of Santa Maria la Nova, built between the years 1560–1620, was opened to the public in 1622. The façade was only completed in the year 1840. The church has a late-Renaissance appearance that breaks the characteristic Baroque mold usual to Sicily. The interior features frescoes by Guglielmo Borremans, who worked there from 1722. Other works include a wooden Blessed Virgin draped with silver lamina (1 ...
Founded: 1560 | Location: Caltanissetta, Italy

Udine Cathedral

The construction of Udine cathedral began in 1236 by will of Berthold, patriarch of Aquileia, on a Latin cross-shaped plan with three aisles and side-chapels. The style should follow that of the contemporary Franciscan churches. The church was consecrated in 1335 as Santa Maria Maggiore. In 1348 an earthquake damaged the building, which was restored starting from 1368. In this occasion, the larger previous rose window of ...
Founded: 1236 | Location: Udine, Italy

Savona Cathedral

The original cathedral of Savona on the Priamar hill was destroyed by Genovese army in 1528. The Franciscan monastery was converted as a new Cathedral in 1559 by Pope Paul IV. The current appearance dates from 1605.
Founded: 1559 | Location: Savona, Italy

Lipari Cathedral

Lipari Cathedral has been since 1986 a co-cathedral in the Archdiocese of Messina-Lipari-Santa Lucia del Mela. From its foundation, the cathedral had served as the sole parish church for the entire archipelago. The first cathedral was built in the heart of the acropolis, where a Greek temple had probably existed in the classical period, but it was destroyed by the Arabs in 838. Reconstruction came only under Roger I of ...
Founded: 1131 | Location: Lipari, Italy

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Kisimul Castle

Dating from the 15th century, Kisimul is the only significant surviving medieval castle in the Outer Hebrides. It was the residence of the chief of the Macneils of Barra, who claimed descent from the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages. Tradition tells of the Macneils settling in Barra in the 11th century, but it was only in 1427 that Gilleonan Macneil comes on record as the first lord. He probably built the castle that dominates the rocky islet, and in its shadow a crew house for his personal galley and crew. The sea coursed through Macneil veins, and a descendant, Ruari ‘the Turbulent’, was arrested for piracy of an English ship during King James VI’s reign in the later 16th century.

Heavy debts eventually forced the Macneil chiefs to sell Barra in 1838. However, a descendant, Robert Lister Macneil, the 45th Chief, repurchased the estate in 1937, and set about restoring his ancestral seat. It passed into Historic Scotland’s care in 2000.

The castle dates essentially from the 15th century. It takes the form of a three-storey tower house. This formed the residence of the clan chief. An associated curtain wall fringed the small rock on which the castle stood, and enclosed a small courtyard in which there are ancillary buildings. These comprised a feasting hall, a chapel, a tanist’s house and a watchman’s house. Most were restored in the 20th century, the tanist’s house serving as the family home of the Macneils. A well near the postern gate is fed with fresh water from an underground seam. Outside the curtain wall, beside the original landing-place, are the foundations of the crew house, where the sailors manning their chief’s galley had their quarters.