/ / The Cathedral of Otranto: photo, description Duomo di Otranto)

The Cathedral of Otranto: photo, description Duomo di Otranto)

The Cathedral of Otranto is the main Catholic Church in Otranto, one of the most outstanding in the Italian region of Puglia. It was built on the ruins of ancient Roman dwellings and of the early Church that was found during archaeological work conducted from 1986 to 1990-th years.

The construction of the Cathedral began in 1080, the year, during the reign of Pope Gregory VII, and was completed eight years later. 1088 in the same year the new Cathedral was consecrated. The period of the late 11th century, was the heyday of the old Otranto, known as Hydroton.

Today the Cathedral of Otranto is a true synthesis of different architectural styles, which mixed early Christian, Byzantine and Romanesque features. Inside it consists of a Central nave, two side aisles, a semicircular apse and two lateral chapels. The main nave is framed by 14 granite columns, crowned with different capitals. The total length of the Cathedral is 54 meters width - 25 meters. In 1693, the year was made wonderful wooden ceiling covered with gold leaf and richly decorated. Three altars of the right aisle is dedicated to the Resurrection of Christ, Saint Dominic, and the assumption of the blessed virgin Mary and the altars of the left side chapel of St. Trinity, God's Providence and Saint Anthony of Padua.

But perhaps the main attraction of the Cathedral is its unique mosaic floor, made in 1163, the year by order of Bishop Jonathan. On this floor worked the monk Pantaleone, the head of the art school of the University of Casole. The mosaic covers the floor of the Central nave, two lateral aisles, the apse and the presbytery. It is made from colored glazes, carved out of very hard limestone, and bears the features of Byzantine and Romanesque styles. Pantaleone with his creation wanted to show the drama of human life - the eternal struggle of Good with Evil, virtue with Vice.

Two flights of stairs located in the side chapels of the Cathedral are the crypt, which occupies the space under the aisles, the apse and the presbytery. To get into the crypt is also possible through a door located on the side of the main entrance to the Cathedral. Date of construction of the crypt is unknown, but probably dates back to the Roman Empire. Inside you can see 42 columns of various types of marble, crowned by capitals. The walls are preserved fragments of ancient frescoes.