Aosta Cathedral

Aosta, Italy

Aosta Cathedral was originally built in the 4th century. In the 11th century the Palaeo-Christian structure was replaced by a new one, dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and Saint John the Baptist. The architecture of the cathedral was modified during the 15th and 16th century.

The present façade, in Neoclassical style, was built between 1846 and 1848. The structures remaining from the Romanesque period are two clock-towers and the crypt, and also the remaining part of an Ottonian fresco cycle on the church ceiling.



Your name

Website (optional)


Founded: 11th century
Category: Religious sites in Italy

More Information


4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Bernardus Ordelman (18 months ago)
Visiting Aosta you must have been there
Mark Ebrey (20 months ago)
An impressive building which you need to seek out. To me, it’s not obvious except from the front.
David Kaye (2 years ago)
Please visit if you can
ZINNIA MONDAL (2 years ago)
This Roman Catholic Cathedral also known as the Cathedral of Santa Maria is a must visit if you're doing a city tour of Aosta.
Mario Falzon (2 years ago)
Describing Aosta’s Cathedral as an ensemble of architectural styles in a hotchpotch does not perhaps do justice to this great structure; yet, as I approached the church from the west edge of Piazza Giovanni XXIII, this was my first impression of the building. The bell towers at the back, partly hidden from view by the bulky front are purely Romanesque and architecturally sublime. Dating back to the 11th century, they are unquestionably a rare example of untouched Romanesque in this part of Italy. But... move closer and you are faced with a voluminous out-of-style 19th-century neo-classical facade that does not in any way tally with the cathedral’s original architecture. The porticoed atrium, supported on huge columns and decorated with fine frescoes and a series of terracotta statues is undoubtedly an out-of-place replacement to an otherwise sweet Romanesque original. The gaudy fill-in painting on the tympanum is a fine work of art when seen as a stand-alone but is certainly an out-of-place addition here. The only relief is the cathedral’s Gothic interior. Austere but structurally imposing, it still holds a handful of original pieces that are worth checking out. The 12th-century mosaics preserved in the choir date back to the Romanesque era while the 4th-century baptismal font in the central nave is an untouched original. Take one of the several guided tours to the cathedral’s attic (created by lowering the ceiling in the 14th century) where a series of impressive 11th-century frescoes are perhaps the cathedral’s best asset.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Wroclaw Town Hall

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.