Acerenza Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral dedicated to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and to Saint Canius in the town of Acerenza. The cathedral is one of the most notable Romanesque structures in this part of Italy.
The diocese was established by the late 5th century, but the structure of the present Romanesque cathedral building dates from 1080, when construction was begun under archbishop Arnald of Cluny. The site however is far more ancient and traces remain in the present building both of a pagan temple to Hercules Acheruntinus and of the earlier Christian church.
It has a Latin cross ground plan, and three aisles, which terminate in a raised presbytery behind which is an apse with an ambulatory and three radiating chapels, an unusual feature in Italian church design; the transept also terminates at either end in a semi-circular chapel. The ambulatory contains the altar which houses the relics of Saint Canius.
The crypt dates from 1524 and contains what is believed to be the sarcophagus of Saint Canius.
The campanile was added in 1555, and reuses many interesting fragments of ancient stonework, including two Roman sarcophagi and a sacrificial altar decorated with bulls' heads.
The interior of the cathedral features many unusual zoomorphic and floral carvings, in the Cluniac manner, the possible symbolic significance of which has caused speculation.
Of especial note are a polyptych showing Our Lady of the Rosary and the Fifteen Mysteries, with Saints Dominic and Thomas, made by Antonio Stabile in 1583, and four frescos in the cloister by Giovanni Todisco di Abriola.References:
The Church of St Donatus name refers to Donatus of Zadar, who began construction on this church in the 9th century and ended it on the northeastern part of the Roman forum. It is the largest Pre-Romanesque building in Croatia.
The beginning of the building of the church was placed to the second half of the 8th century, and it is supposed to have been completed in the 9th century. The Zadar bishop and diplomat Donat (8th and 9th centuries) is credited with the building of the church. He led the representations of the Dalmatian cities to Constantinople and Charles the Great, which is why this church bears slight resemblance to Charlemagne"s court chapels, especially the one in Aachen, and also to the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna. It belongs to the Pre-Romanesque architectural period.
The circular church, formerly domed, is 27 m high and is characterised by simplicity and technical primitivism.