Nicastro Cathedral

Lamezia Terme, Italy

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 erected a church following Latin rites. This cathedral was destroyed by an earthquake on March 7, 1683. A new cathedral was raised from the ruins and completed in 1675. The façade was redone in 1925 in a Neoclassical style. The cupola was completed in 1935. On the façade are busts depicting the titular saints and popes Marcello II (Marcello Cervini; 1539-40) and Innocent IX who were bishops of Nicastro. The wooden choir stalls of the early 18th century are still present.



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Founded: 1675
Category: Religious sites in Italy

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User Reviews

Maria Didiano (12 months ago)
No I have nothing to say
Enzo La Polla (13 months ago)
Great divine gift not only for the city but for the entire territory and for the region
claudio stiavelli (13 months ago)
Paolo Drake (19 months ago)
A church rich in history
emmegi comunication (20 months ago)
Other denominations SS. Peter and Paul Historical News 829 - XII (general foundation) The first Nicastrese Cathedral was built in the Byzantine age with the title of the Assumption and was destroyed by the Saracens in 829. The location of this building is not known and there is no certain documentation. Subsequently, as can be seen from the 1101 Diploma of Count Riccardo Siniscalco, Countess Aremburga, Riccardo's sister, had a new cathedral built, in place of the old and small Byzantine cathedral, in honor of St. Peter (in honorem et sub nomine ipsius beati Petri) consecrated, according to a local tradition, by Pope Callixtus II on the occasion of his coming to Nicastro in December 1121 to bring peace between the Norman brothers: Duke Guglielmo and Count Ruggero. Description The façade almost entirely maintains the architectural apparatus of 1925 that makes up the elevation plan with elements of the classical stylistic repertoire. A sturdy cornice, on which a balustrade ran until 1960, distinguishes the upper part from the lower one. Paired pilasters divide it, according to the morphology of the three internal naves, in a central part with the main entrance with a tympanum, and in two lateral ones, with the niches containing the busts of St. Peter and St. Paul. The façade ends with double pilasters on which the plinths with the busts of Popes Marcello II and Innocenzo IX overlap. The upper part includes a large window and culminates with a triangular tympanum decorated with the bishop's coat of arms of Mons. Eugenio Giambro. The side facades are articulated with the volumes of the large protruding apses of the transept and are characterized by the eighteenth-century stone portals that frame the secondary entrances. In the back stands the late seventeenth-century bell tower which has undergone modest transformations over time and the eight-ribbed dome made with a reinforced concrete frame covered in colored majolica. The interior consists of three naves, divided by pillars with a rectangular base that support round arches, with a large transept, with apsidal terminals, and with a raised presbytery in front of the choir. With a recent restoration, parts of the seventeenth-century structures have been brought into view. The side aisles have in the fourth span, which ends at the top with a lowered dome, the access to the chapel of the Crucifix and to that of the Souls of Purgatory and have as a perspective backdrop the Chapels of the Sacrament on the left and of the Madonna de la Salette in right. The internal space, already planimetrically varied and articulated, has happy expansions in height that create effects of airy expansion and solemnity. In fact, the large vaulted space of the central nave is followed by that extended in width of the transept, which expands with the curved trend of the walls, and that of the dome by the accentuated verticalism. The internal spatial configuration, due to its morphology and the differentiated modulation of the light, is certainly the building's greatest architectural quality. The backdrop of the presbytery was recently painted with the Assumption between Saints Peter and Paul which takes up the iconography of a seventeenth-century canvas originally placed in the Cathedral and now preserved in the Diocesan Museum which recalls the current ownership of the Cathedral and the original Byzantine one.
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The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.

The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.

The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.

The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.

Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.

At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.

In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.