Religious sites in 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

Santa Maria delle Scale

Santa Maria delle Scale was built by the Cistercian monks of the Abbey of Santa Maria di Roccadia in Lentini, in the first half of the 13th century, in a Gothic style. In the second half of the 18th century, because of the increase of the population, the building was enlarged and largely rebuilt in a Baroque style.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Ragusa, Italy

Santa Croce in Gerusalemme

The Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem or Basilica di Santa Croce in Gerusalemme is one of the Seven Pilgrim Churches of Rome. According to tradition, the basilica was consecrated circa 325 to house the relics of the Passion of Jesus Christ. The relics were brought to Rome from the Holy Land by Empress St. Helena, mother of Roman Emperor Constantine I. At that time, the Basilica's floor was covered with soil from Jer ...
Founded: c. 325 AD | Location: Rome, 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

Basilica di San Calimero

The Basilica di San Calimero is a church in Milan, northern Italy. Its name refers to Saint Calimerius (died 190 AD), an early bishop of the city. It dates from the 5th century but was almost completely rebuilt in 1882 by the architect Angelo Colla in an attempt to restore it to the 'original' medieval structure. What remains of the ancient church include: the 16th century crypt, with a noble frescoed ...
Founded: 1882 | Location: Milan, Italy

San Michele in Isola

San Michele in Isola church is located on the Isola di San Michele island which houses the cemetery of the city. The first church known to have been designed by the architect Mauro Codussi, this is a reconstruction of an older church, that was commissioned by the Camaldolese community on the island in 1469. The church is built entirely in salt-white Istrian stone which weathers to a pale gray. San Michele is the first e ...
Founded: 1469 | Location: Venice, Italy

Bolzano Franciscan Friary

The Franciscan Friary in Bolzano was founded in 1221. According a legend, young Saint Francis accompanied his cloth merchant father, Pietro Bernardone, on a business trip to Bolzano. While there, the young Francis took Mass in the Chapel of Saints Ingenuinus and Erhard, and the bells rang out. The Chapel is today part of the friary complex. However, the original structure was destroyed by fire in 1291 and the friary ...
Founded: 1221 | Location: Bolzano, Italy

Late Baroque Town of Scicli

Scicli was founded by the Sicels (whence probably the name) around 300 BCE. In 864 CE, Scicli was conquered by the Arabs, as part of the Muslim conquest of Sicily. Under their rule it flourished as an agricultural and trade center. In 1091, it was conquered from the Arabs by the Normans, under Roger I of Hauteville, after a fierce battle. Following the various dynasties ruling the Kingdom of Sicily, it was an Aragonese-S ...
Founded: 17th century | Location: Scicli, Italy

Sanctuary of Oropa

The Sanctuary of Oropa is a group of Roman Catholic buildings and structures in Oropa, frazione of the municipality of Biella. According to legend, a black wooden statue of the Virgin Mary carved by Saint Luke was found in Jerusalem by Saint Eusebius of Vercelli, carried to Oropa in the 4th century AD and placed into a small niche in a big boulder. In the Middle Ages, a church was built around the niche housing the statu ...
Founded: 17th century | Location: Biella, Italy

San Salvatore Monastery

San Salvatore (or Santa Giulia) is a former monastery in Brescia, now turned into a museum. The monastic complex is famous for the diversity of its architecture which include Roman remains and significant pre-Romanesque, Romanesque and Renaissance buildings. In 2011, it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of a group of seven inscribed as Longobards in Italy, Places of Power (568-774 A.D.). The monastery i ...
Founded: 753 AD | Location: Brescia, Italy

Tempio Civico della Beata Vergine Incoronata

The Tempio Civico della Beata Vergine Incoronata is a church in Lodi. It is considered one of the masterworks of the Lombard Renaissance art. The church was designed in 1488 by Giovanni Battagio (a pupil of Bramante), continued by Gian Giacomo Dolcebuono and finished by Giovanni Antonio Amadeo. The church is located in a very narrow street near the Piazza della Vittoria, Lodi"s most famous square. It has ...
Founded: 1488 | Location: Lodi, Italy

Monopoli Cathedral

Monopoli Cathedral has been since 1986 a co-cathedral in the Diocese of Conversano-Monopoli. The cathedral was erected near the site of a Roman temple and burial site. Work began on it in 1107, but was supposedly halted for the lack of roof beams. A miracle occurred in 1117 when a raft carrying an icon of the Madonna drifted into the harbour. The raft beams were used to construct the roof. The Romanesque structure was ...
Founded: 1107 | Location: Monopoli, Italy

Sant'Eusebio

Sant"Eusebio is a titular church devoted to Saint Eusebius of Rome, a 4th-century martyr. The church is first mentioned in 474, by an inscription in the catacombs of Saints Marcellino e Pietro. It was consecrated by Pope Gregory IX, after the restoration of 1238. The Romanesque style, dating back to this restoration, survived to the restorations of the 17th, 18th, and 20th centuries. The interior is separated into a ...
Founded: c. 470 AD | Location: Rome, Italy

Neustift Abbey

Neustift Abbey is one of the most prestigious monasteries of northern Italy and Alpine region. It was founded in 1142 by the Bishop of Brixen. Buildings have been rebuilt and expanded several times until the 18th century. Neustift Abbey was dissolved by the Bavarian government in 1807. Today it is a convention center and ecological center. The abbey, since its establishment, has been a place of shelter for pilgrims ...
Founded: 1142 | Location: Vahrn, Italy

Santa Costanza

Santa Costanza is a 4th-century round church in Rome with well preserved original layout and mosaics. It has been built adjacent to a horseshoe-shaped church, now in ruins, which has been identified as the initial 4th-century cemeterial basilica of Saint Agnes. Santa Costanza and the old Saint Agnes were both constructed over the earlier catacombs in which Saint Agnes is believed to be buried. According to the traditiona ...
Founded: 4th century AD | Location: Rome, Italy

Altamura Cathedral

Altamura Cathedral has been since 1986 the seat of the Bishop of Altamura-Gravina-Acquaviva delle Fonti, formed in that year. The church was built by will of emperor Frederick in 1232-1254. The main gate, the portal, the rose window were all on the opposite side that in today"s construction, while the altar was located in the area where the main gate is now. An inscription in Latin, located upon the so-called ' ...
Founded: 1232-1254 | Location: Altamura, Italy

Church of Saints Marcellinus and Peter

Santi Marcellino e Pietro al Laterano is dedicated to Saints Marcellinus and Peter, 4th century Roman martyrs, whose relics were brought here in 1256. The first church on the site was built by Pope Siricius in the 4th century, close to the Via Labicana"s catacombs of Marcellinus and Peter, with an adjoining hospice which became a centre for pilgrims. This church was restored by Pope Gregory III in the 8th century. I ...
Founded: 1751 | Location: Rome, Italy

Innichen Abbey

The Abbey of Innichen was founded in the 8th century and rebuilt in the 12th–13th centuries. Its collegiate church is considered the most important Romanesque building in Tyrol and the Eastern Alps and, it is home to a 13th-century sculpture and a fresco cycle from the same age in the dome. The original abbey was founded in 769, when Tassilo III, duke of Bavaria gave to abbot Atto von Scharnitz some lands going from t ...
Founded: 1140 | Location: Innichen, 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

Collegiate Church of St Mary Magdalene

The Collegiate Church of St Mary Magdalene was founded in 1274 on the ruins of a medieval fortress on the initiative of Atrani. Over time the church has undergone considerable restoration. In 1570, near collapse, funds were raised by special taxes on wheat and export of manufactured goods to restore the church. The building underwent a second operation almost a century later, in 1669. On that occasion it also repaired ...
Founded: 1274 | Location: Atrani, Italy

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

La Iruela Castle

The castle of La Iruela, small but astonishing, is located on the top of a steep crag in Sierra de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas Natural Park. From the castle, impressive views of the surrounding area and of the town can be enjoyed.

The keep dates from the Christian era. It has a square base and small dimensions and is located at the highest part of the crag.

There are some other enclosures within the tower that create a small alcázar which is difficult to access.

In a lower area of the castle, protected with defensive remains of rammed earth and irregular masonry, is an old Muslim farmstead.

After a recent restoration, an open-air theater has been built on La Iruela castle enclosure. This theater is a tribute to the Greek and Classic Eras and holds various artistic and cultural shows throughout the year.

History

The first traces of human activity in La Iruela area are dated from the Copper Age. An intense occupation continued until the Bronze Age.

Originally, La Iruela (like Cazorla) was a modest farmstead. From the 11th century, a wall and a small fortress were built on the hill to protect the farmers.

Around 1231, don Rodrigo Ximénez de Rada, Archbishop of Toledo, conquered La Iruela and made it part of the Adelantamiento de Cazorla. Over the Muslim fortress, the current fortress was built.

Once the military use of the fortress ended, it was used as cemetery.