/ / The Cathedral of San Matteo, (Duomo di Salerno)

The Cathedral of San Matteo, (Duomo di Salerno)

The Cathedral of San Matteo is the main Roman Catholic Church of the Spa town of Salerno and one of the most popular tourist attractions. The Cathedral is dedicated to Saint Matthew, one of the four evangelists, whose remains are buried in the crypt inside.

The Church building was built on the site of ancient Roman temple in the heart of the city, when Salerno was the capital of the Principality of Salerno, and stretching from the Gulf of Naples to the Ionian sea. Work on its construction began in 1076, the year on the initiative of the Norman ruler Robert Guiscard. And consecrated the Cathedral in 1085, the year Pope Gregory VII.

For several centuries of its history, the San Matteo was rebuilt several times. In 1688, the year the architect Ferdinando Sanfelice redid the interior of the Cathedral in the style of the Neapolitan Baroque and Rococo. The original appearance of the building was returned only in the 1930-ies after an extensive restoration. And in 1943, the Cathedral was seriously damaged during the landing of allied forces in Italy.

The most striking element of San Matteo is its 56-meter high bell tower with small arcades and arched Windows, erected in the middle of the 12th century in Arab-Norman style. The Romanesque facade of the Cathedral is notable for the Byzantine bronze doors made in Constantinople in 1099-m to year, - they are decorated with 56 panels with figures, crosses and scenes from the life of Christ. In the portico with its 28 columns, decorative inlays, clearly shows the influence of Arabic art. It also holds several Roman sarcophagi.

Inside the Cathedral consists of a Central nave, two side aisles, separated from each other by columns and three apses. The interior is decorated with works of art - the two pulpits with mosaic patterns, paintings of Francesco Solimena, a Gothic statue of the Madonna and child 14th century and tombs of Naples of Queen Margherita of Durazzo, of Roger Borsa, Archbishop Bartolomeo d Arpino and Pope Gregory VII.

In the crypt of the Cathedral, according to legend, is the tomb of St. Matthew. The crypt itself is a hall with groin vault and columns, restored according to the project of Domenico Fontana in 1606-08-m years. In the 18th century it was added the marble decorations.