Cathedrals in 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

Lodi Cathedral

Lodi Cathedral is one of the largest churches in northern Italy. The cathedral was founded in 1158, the day on which Lodi was refounded after its destruction by the Milanese troops in 1111. The first phase of construction ended in 1163. The crypt was inaugurated with the translation of the relics of Saint Bassianus on 4 November 1163, in the presence of emperor Frederick I Barbarossa. The second phase was carr ...
Founded: 1158 | Location: Lodi, Italy

Padua Cathedral

Padua Cathedral is the third structure built on the same site. The first one was erected after the Edict of Milan in 313 and destroyed by an earthquake on 3 January 1117. It was rebuilt in Romanesque style: the appearance of the medieval church can be seen in the frescoes by Giusto de' Menabuoi in the adjoining baptistery. The design of the existing cathedral is sometimes attributed to Michelangelo, but in fact it was th ...
Founded: 1551 | Location: Padua, Italy

San Pietro di Castello

The present Basilica of San Pietro di Castello building dates from the 16th century, but a church has stood on the site since at least the 7th century. From 1451 to 1807, it was the city's cathedral church, though hardly playing the usual dominant role of a cathedral, as it was overshadowed by the 'state church' of San Marco, and inconveniently located. During its history the church has undergone a number of alterations ...
Founded: 7th century | Location: Venice, Italy

Enna Cathedral

The Duomo (Cathedral) of Enna, a notable example of religious architecture in Sicily, was built in the 14th century by queen Eleonora, Frederick III"s wife. It was renovated and remodeled after the fire of 1446. The great Baroque facade, in yellow tufa-stone, is surmounted by a massive campanile with finely shaped decorative elements. The portal on the right side is from the 16th century, while the other is from the ...
Founded: 1446 | Location: Enna, Italy

Vicenza Cathedral

Vicenza Cathedral construction was begun in 1482, to plans by Lorenzo of Bologna, and completed in the 1560s. The cupola was planned by Andrea Palladio and probably the north doorway also. Only the original façade survived the bombing of World War II; the rest of the present building has been reconstructed. The belltower has five bells in the chord of Eb, the oldest one was cast in the 17th century.
Founded: 1482-1560 | Location: Vicenza, Italy

Sarzana Cathedral

Sarzana Cathedral was built on the site of the former pieve of San Basilio and was under construction from 1204 to 1474, when the upper part of the west front was completed by Leonardo Riccomanni of Pietrasanta. In 1735 three statues of popes were added to the top of the façade: Saint Eutychianus in the centre between Pope Sergius IV and Pope Nicholas V. The church is in a Romanesque-Gothic style. It has a west front of ...
Founded: 1204-1474 | Location: Sarzana, Italy

Pozzuoli Cathedral

ThevPozzuoli Cathedral site probably originated as part of the town"s capitolium of the Greek or Samnite era, radically rebuilt in the Republican and Augustan eras. Between the end of the 5th and the start of the 6th century the inhabitants of the town decided to rededicate the temple as a church to Proculus of Pozzuoli. In 1538 it suffered major damage as Tripergole subsided and Monte Nuovo was formed. Bishop ...
Founded: 1538 | Location: Pozzuoli, Italy

Ragusa Cathedral

Ragusa Cathedral is dedicated to Saint John the Baptist. The present church dates from the early 18th century. It has been the seat of the Bishops of Ragusa since the establishment of the diocese in 1950. A church of San Giovanni Battista stood before the 1693 Sicily earthquake in the west of the old town of Ragusa (Ragusa Ibla) under the walls of a medieval castle, where there now stands the church of St. Agnes. Se ...
Founded: 1694 | Location: Ragusa, Italy

Belluno Cathedral

Belluno Cathedral (Duomo di Belluno) stands on the site of a palaeo-Christian church. A subsequent church dedicated to Saint Martin and built in around in 850 is documented. The present building was built between 1517 and 1624, to plans by the architect Tullio Lombardo, in the style of the Renaissance. The cupola was completed only in 1756. The campanile dates from the 18th century and is by Filippo Juvarra. The unfinish ...
Founded: 1517-1624 | Location: Belluno, Italy

Piazza Armerina Cathedral

Piazza Armerina Cathedral is dedicated to Mary of the Victories (Maria Santissima delle Vittorie). It is the seat of the Bishops of Piazza Armerina. Built on the foundations of an earlier church of the 15th century and based on a design by architect Orazio Torriani, its construction began in 1604 and ended in 1719, while the dome was added in 1768. It became the seat of the Diocese of Piazza (later Piazza Armerina) when ...
Founded: 1604-1719 | Location: Piazza Armerina, Italy

Aosta Cathedral

Aosta Cathedral was originally built in the 4th century. In the 11th century the Palaeo-Christian structure was replaced by a new one, dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and Saint John the Baptist. The architecture of the cathedral was modified during the 15th and 16th century. The present façade, in Neoclassical style, was built between 1846 and 1848. The structures remaining from the Romanesque per ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Aosta, Italy

Crema Cathedral

The first cathedral in Crema was destroyed by Frederick Barbarossa in 1160. A new building was begun in 1185, but construction was halted in 1212, not to begin again until 1284 but in Gothic style. The church was finished in 1340, with the addition in 1385 of a lengthened apse and a crypt. The façade is in typical Lombard Gothic style, with a single portal surmounted, in the lunette, by sculptures of the Madonna and ...
Founded: 1185 | Location: Crema, Italy

Reggio Calabria Cathedral

Reggio Calabria Cathedral was severely damaged by an earthquake in 1908, and rebuilt in a modern eclectic style with Romanesque and Gothic elements. The initial design was by the engineer P. Carmelo Umberto Angiolini and then modified by the engineer Mariano Francesconi. The new church was consecrated in 1928.
Founded: 1908-1928 | Location: Reggio Calabria, Italy

Cosenza Cathedral

The exact origins of the Cosenza Cathedral are unknown; it was probably built during the first half of the 11th century. An earthquake destroyed the cathedral on 9 June 1184, and rebuilding was completed by 1222 when the cathedral was consecrated by Emperor Frederick II. At some point during the first half of the 18th century the church was covered by a baroque superstructure which obliterated the original structure and ...
Founded: 1222 | Location: Cosenza, Italy

Nicastro Cathedral

Nicastro Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral in the town of Nicastro, now part of the city of Lamezia Terme. It was previously the episcopal seat of the Diocese of Nicastro and when the diocese changed its name to the Diocese of Lamezia Terme, remained its cathedral. The first church on the site probably dated from the Byzantine era, and was destroyed during Saracen raids prior to the year 1000. The Normans in 1094 e ...
Founded: 1675 | Location: Lamezia Terme, Italy

Rossano Cathedral

Rossano Cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of Rossano-Cariati. The cathedral was built in the 11th century, with substantial reconstruction in the 18th and 19th centuries. It has a central nave and two side-aisles, terminating in three apses. The bell tower and the baptismal font date from the 14th century, while the other artworks and furnishings are of the 17th and 18th centuries. The cathedral houses an ancient ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Corigliano-Rossano, Italy

Agrigento Cathedral

Founded towards the end of the 11th century by Bishop Gerlando, this Norman-Gothic style Agrigento Cathedral was enlarged and remodelled several times as of the 14th and up till the 17th century, only preserving, of the original structure, its magnificent mullioned windows still visible on the right side. Its facade is accessed by a wide, easy staircase, flanked by the magnificent, unfinished 15th century belltower embell ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Agrigento, Italy

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Abbey of Saint-Étienne

The Abbey of Saint-Etienne, also known as Abbaye aux Hommes ('Men"s Abbey'), is a former monastery dedicated to Saint Stephen (Saint Étienne). It is considered, along with the neighbouring Abbaye aux Dames ('Ladies" Abbey'), to be one of the most notable Romanesque buildings in Normandy. Like all the major abbeys in Normandy, it was Benedictine.

Lanfranc, before being an Archbishop of Canterbury, was abbot of Saint-Etienne. Built in Caen stone during the 11th century, the two semi-completed churches stood for many decades in competition. An important feature added to both churches in about 1120 was the ribbed vault, used for the first time in France. The two abbey churches are considered forerunners of the Gothic architecture. The original Romanesque apse was replaced in 1166 by an early Gothic chevet, complete with rosette windows and flying buttresses. Nine towers and spires were added in the 13th century. The interior vaulting shows a similar progression, beginning with early sexpartite vaulting (using circular ribs) in the nave and progressing to quadipartite vaults (using pointed ribs) in the sanctuary.

The two monasteries were finally donated by William the Conqueror and his wife, Matilda of Flanders, as penalty for their marriage against the Pope"s ruling. William was buried here; Matilda was buried in the Abbaye aux Dames. Unfortunately William"s original tombstone of black marble, the same kind as Matilda"s in the Abbaye aux Dames, was destroyed by the Calvinist iconoclasts in the 16th century and his bones scattered.

As a consequence of the Wars of Religion, the high lantern tower in the middle of the church collapsed and was never rebuilt. The Benedictine abbey was suppressed during the French Revolution and the abbey church became a parish church. From 1804 to 1961, the abbey buildings accommodated a prestigious high school, the Lycée Malherbe. During the Normandy Landings in 1944, inhabitants of Caen found refuge in the church; on the rooftop there was a red cross, made with blood on a sheet, to show that it was a hospital (to avoid bombings).