Bitonto Co-Cathedral

Bitonto, Italy

Bitonto Cathedral, dedicated to Saint Mary, was the seat of the small Bishopric of Bitonto from the bishopric's foundation, believed to be in the 8th century, until 1818, when it was combined with the neighbouring Diocese of Ruvo to form the Diocese of Ruvo e Bitonto. This was separated again in 1982, and the Diocese of Bitonto, with Bitonto Cathedral as its seat, was briefly revived, but was combined with the Archdiocese of Bari in 1986 to form the Archdiocese of Bari-Bitonto, in which Bitonto Cathedral is now a co-cathedral.

The remains of a palaeochristian church, which predates by some centuries the establishment of the bishopric, have been discovered underneath the present building.

The existing church however is a Romanesque building of the late 11th-12th centuries, influenced by the Basilica of San Nicola in Bari. The west front is divided into three parts and has three portals (the central one of which is sculpted with plant motifs and scenes from the Old Testament), four mullioned windows and a rose window flanked by sculptures of animals supported by small columns. The interior has a nave and two aisles, and is also notable for its sculpture. The main artwork is the marble ambo, a combined pulpit and lectern, of 1229, a masterpiece of medieval Apulian stonecarving. In the crypt is a tile of a griffin, a survival from the predecessor church building.



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Founded: 11th century
Category: Religious sites in Italy

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User Reviews

Ferdinando D'onofrio (14 months ago)
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Alicia Birchall (2 years ago)
Beautiful church with a hidden treasure. Underneath the church, entered via the crypt is a early Christian church which was excavated in the 80s/90s and has wonderful mosaics. There are plenty of very good information boards on the church and excavation throughout (Italian, English, fresh and German) which also provide images of what the church would have looked like. The entrance fee of €3 each was well worth it.
David Loewi (3 years ago)
One of the _most_ beautiful churches in all of Puglia...
Oriana Bertilli (3 years ago)
Of great Historical value located within the anciet city walls. Must see
Nicola Sasanelli (4 years ago)
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