The construction of Udine cathedral began in 1236 by will of Berthold, patriarch of Aquileia, on a Latin cross-shaped plan with three aisles and side-chapels. The style should follow that of the contemporary Franciscan churches. The church was consecrated in 1335 as Santa Maria Maggiore.
In 1348 an earthquake damaged the building, which was restored starting from 1368. In this occasion, the larger previous rose window of the façade was replaced by the smaller current one.
At the beginning of the 18th century a radical transformation project involving both the exterior and the interior was undertaken at the request and expense of the Manin family. The designer was architect Domenico Rossi, the work being finished in 1735.
The church has two main portals, one of which, called Portale della Redenzione, executed by an unknown German master in the 14th century. It has reliefs portraying the Redemption and pointed internal arches. The other one is known as Portale dell'Incoronazion, and was also executed by a German sculptor in 1395-1396. It has figures of saints and, one the upper tympanum, scenes of the Life of Jesus.
The interior has a nave and two aisles separated by pillars. At the sides are four chapels communicating with each other.
In contrast with the Romanesque-Gothic exterior, the Baroque interior has monumental dimensions and contains many works of art by Maffeo Verona, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Pomponio Amalteo, and Ludovico Dorigny. The painter Pellegrino da San Daniele contributed to the altarpiece of Saint Joseph and the organ doors. On the ground floor of the bell tower (built from 1441 over the ancient baptistry) is a chapel which is completely adorned with frescoes by Vitale da Bologna (1349).
The cathedral also houses an important museum of religious decorative arts, the Museo del Duomo di Udine.References:
The Old Town Hall of Wrocław is one of the main landmarks of the city. The Old Town Hall's long history reflects developments that have taken place in the city since its initial construction. The town hall serves the city of Wroclaw and is used for civic and cultural events such as concerts held in its Great Hall. In addition, it houses a museum and a basement restaurant.
The town hall was developed over a period of about 250 years, from the end of 13th century to the middle of 16th century. The structure and floor plan changed over this extended period in response to the changing needs of the city. The exact date of the initial construction is not known. However, between 1299 and 1301 a single-storey structure with cellars and a tower called the consistory was built. The oldest parts of the current building, the Burghers’ Hall and the lower floors of the tower, may date to this time. In these early days the primary purpose of the building was trade rather than civic administration activities.
Between 1328 and 1333 an upper storey was added to include the Council room and the Aldermen’s room. Expansion continued during the 14th century with the addition of extra rooms, most notably the Court room. The building became a key location for the city’s commercial and administrative functions.
The 15th and 16th centuries were times of prosperity for Wroclaw as was reflected in the rapid development of the building during that period. The construction program gathered momentum, particularly from 1470 to 1510, when several rooms were added. The Burghers’ Hall was re-vaulted to take on its current shape, and the upper story began to take shape with the development of the Great Hall and the addition of the Treasury and Little Treasury.
Further innovations during the 16th century included the addition of the city’s Coat of arms (1536), and the rebuilding of the upper part of the tower (1558–59). This was the final stage of the main building program. By 1560, the major features of today’s Stray Rates were established.
The second half of the 17th century was a period of decline for the city, and this decline was reflected in the Stray Rates. Perhaps by way of compensation, efforts were made to enrich the interior decorations of the hall. In 1741, Wroclaw became a part of Prussia, and the power of the City diminished. Much of the Stray Rates was allocated to administering justice.
During the 19th century there were two major changes. The courts moved to a separate building, and the Rates became the site of the city council and supporting functions. There was also a major program of renovation because the building had been neglected and was covered with creeping vines. The town hall now has several en-Gothic features including some sculptural decoration from this period.
In the early years of the 20th century improvements continued with various repair work and the addition of the Little Bear statue in 1902. During the 1930s, the official role of the Rates was reduced and it was converted into a museum. By the end of World War II Town Hall suffered minor damage, such as aerial bomb pierced the roof (but not exploded) and some sculptural elements were lost. Restoration work began in the 1950s following a period of research, and this conservation effort continued throughout the 20th century. It included refurbishment of the clock on the east facade.