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Cathedral of Salerno



The Cathedral of Salerno (Duomo) is the main church of the city of Salerno, in southern Italy. It is dedicated to St. Matthew, one of the four Evangelists.


Begun by Robert Guiscard in 1076 on a pre-existing church, the Duomo was consecrated by Pope Gregory VII in 1085. It was several times modified in the following centuries, until a restoration in the 1930s brought it back to an appearance similar to the original one.


The most striking external feature is the bell tower (mid-12th century), with small arcades and mullioned windows, standing 56 m high. The façade has a Romanesque portal with Byzantine-style bronze doors from Constantinople (1099), with 56 panels with figures, crosses and stories from Jesus's life. The entrance has a portico with 28 antique columns whose arches show influence of Arab art, and contains a series of ancient Roman sarcophagi.


The interior has a nave and two aisles, divided by pilasters in which the original columns are embedded, and three apses. Artworks include two pulpits with mosaic decorations, paintings by Francesco Solimena, a 14th century Gothic statue of Madonna with Child and the sepulchres of queen Margherita of Durazzo and of archbishop Bartolomeo d'Arpano, and the tomb of Gregory VII. The crpyt, housing the remains of St. Matthew, is a cross-vaulted hall with a basilica-like plan divided by columns. It was restored under design by Domenico Fontana in 1606-1608, with marble decorations added in the 18th century.


The Duomo Museum houses artworks from different ages, including the silver statues of the Salernitane Martyrs (13th century) and documents of the Salernitan Medical School.




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Taken on April 5, 2007