Trieste Cathedral (Basilica cattedrale di San Giusto Martire), dedicated to Saint Justus, is the seat of the Bishop of Trieste. The first religious edifice on the site was built in the 6th century, using part of the existing structure. Perhaps the entrance to a monument, this was commonly known as the Capitoline Temple, as a pyramidal altar with the symbols of the Capitoline Triad (Jupiter, Juno and Minerva) had been found inside it.
Of the hall there remains part of the mosaic floor, integrated into the present-day floor, which contains markings of the outer walls of the early Christian building. Soon after it was opened for worship, the church was destroyed in the Lombard invasion.
Between the 9th and 11th centuries, two basilicas were erected on the ruins of the old church, the first dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption and the second, the cathedral, to Saint Justus (San Giusto). The original design of the latter building was subsequently lengthened. In the 14th century the two basilicas were joined by means of the demolition of one nave of either basilica and the construction of a simple asymmetrical façade, dominated by a delicately worked Gothic rose window, as ornate as the new bell tower, using the Romanesque debris stones found on the site and friezes of arms.
The Chapel of Saint Charles Borromeo serves as the burial chapel for the family of the Carlist claimants to the throne of Spain. Among the works of historical interest in the cathedral are the apsidal mosaics depicting Our Lady of the Assumption and Saint Just, laid by master craftsmen from Veneto in the 12th-13th centuries. The small 14th-century church of San Giovanni on the left and San Michele al Carnale on the right, by the entrance to the museum, complete a fine medieval churchyard.
In the square in front of the church is an altar commemorating the consecration and laying down of the arms of the 3rd Army, a column with a halberd and a monument to those who died in the First World War.
Archaeological excavations carried out here in the 1930s laid bare the remains of the Roman forum and civic building constructed on two colonnaded floors with two apses. Two lower-floor columns have been reconstructed.References:
Sirmione castle was built near the end of the 12th century as part of a defensive network surrounding Verona. The castle was maintained and extended first as part of the Veronese protection against their rivals in Milan and later under the control of the Venetian inland empire. The massive fortress is totally surrounded by water and has an inner porch which houses a Roman and Medieval lapidary. From the drawbridge, a staircase leads to the walkways above the walls, providing a marvellous view of the harbour that once sheltered the Scaliger fleet. The doors were fitted with a variety of locking systems, including a drawbridge for horses, carriages and pedestrians, a metal grate and, more recently, double hinged doors. Venice conquered Sirmione in 1405, immediately adopting provisions to render the fortress even more secure, fortifying its outer walls and widening the harbour.
Thanks to its strategical geographical location as a border outpost, Sirmione became a crucial defence and control garrison for the ruling nobles, retaining this function until the 16th century, when its role was taken up by Peschiera del Garda.