Matera Cathedral

Matera, Italy

Matera Cathedral is dedicated to the Virgin Mary under the designation of the Madonna della Bruna and to Saint Eustace. Formerly the seat of the Bishops, later Archbishops, of Matera, it is now the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Matera-Irsina.

The cathedral was built in Apulian Romanesque style in the 13th century on the ridge that forms the highest point of the city of Matera and divides the two Sassi, on the site of the ancient Church of Saint Eustace, protector of the city. Construction began in 1203, the year in which Pope Innocent III raised Matera to the rank of an archdiocese in union with Acerenza as the Archdiocese of Acerenza and Matera, and was completed in 1270.

The original dedication was to Santa Maria di Matera, as recorded in a contemporary notarial document. Then, on the evidence of a will of 1318, it was entitled Santa Maria dell'Episcopio, and from 1389, the year in which Pope Urban VI (already Archbishop of Matera), instituted the feast of the Visitation, it was dedicated to Santa Maria della Bruna, also a protector of the city. Finally, from 1627 Monsignor Fabrizio Antinori, archbishop of Matera, dedicated the cathedral to the Madonna della Bruna and to Saint Eustace.


The west front is dominated by the rose window of sixteen rays and by the campanile on the left side, 52 metres high. The cathedral has a Latin cross ground plan and contains three naves, separated by round arches supported by columns with stone capitals. Much of the interior received a Baroque-style decoration in the 17th and 18th century, including gilded stuccoes and frames.


The interior houses a Byzantine-style fresco depicting the Madonna della Bruna and Child, dating from 1270 and attributed to one Rinaldo da Taranto. The carved wooden choir stalls (60 in total) are located in the apse (1453), by Giovanni Tantino of Ariano Irpino. The high altar has an altarpiece by Fabrizio Santafede depicting The Virgin with Saints.



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Founded: 1203-1270
Category: Religious sites in Italy

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

An Dim (5 months ago)
Elaborately decorated Catholic Church. You have to pay €3.50 for entry.
Petra Lechner (7 months ago)
Matera: world UNESCO HERITAGE No words needed: live it
Anastasia Karpovets (8 months ago)
This Duomo is incredible The inside design and all the drawings are impressive. The view from the view point in front of the Cathedral is also stunning
Mima T.A. (10 months ago)
Matera cathedral is dedicated to the Virgin Mary - located in the city's historic center(the highest part of Sassi di Matera). Take a walk and explore old town. Very impressive and don’t miss it. This is the largest and most important church in Matera.????
pts pts (5 years ago)
Very ornate with several very well kept paintings. Do not miss the ceiling! Very old, but the paintings very clear and photograph well. Also, hidden to side of High Altar is a very large and ornate nativity scene. Very Large and detailed. In front of the main doors, do not miss the Vista off the ledge-portico. Early morning and late night photograph s very well.
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