/ / The Cathedral of San Stefano: photo description (Cattedrale di San Stefano)

The Cathedral of San Stefano: photo description (Cattedrale di San Stefano)

The Cathedral of San Stefano - the main Roman Catholic Church of Prato, Tuscany. It is dedicated to Saint Stephen, the first Martyr of the Christian faith. Today it is also one of the oldest churches in the city whose existence is documented from the 10th century.

The Cathedral is decorated with several important art pieces, built in several stages in the Romanesque style on the green lawn ("Prato") on the site of the apparition of the virgin Mary near the village of Borgo al Cornio (present center of Prato). The first building was a Church, and in the 15th century, it began a transformation that turned the Cathedral into one of the most beautiful Gothic-Romanesque buildings in Tuscany. The Central nave of the Cathedral, the side walls, and a large part of the bell tower date from the 12th century, the upper part of the tower was completed in 1356, the year. From the 14th century, the Cathedral houses an important relic of the Sacra Cintala, or Belt of the mother of God. It to store it was built the transept, the creation of which is attributed to Giovanni Pisano. The relic itself is kept in the chapel of Centola.

At the beginning of the 15th century, before the old facade of the Cathedral was built a new facade in the Gothic style, and between them built porch - hallway leading to the external pulpit, built by Michelozzo and decorated by Donatello. The facade is divided into three sections, is quite simple. The Central portal is topped by a Gothic arch, and in the lunette above him is visible terracotta sculpture by Andrea della Robbia.

Inside the Cathedral you can see the elegant columns of green serpentine, capitals work, Juditta, designed in the 17th century vaulted ceilings and the wonderful pulpit of white marble, made in the 15th century in the Renaissance style. The chair is decorated with images of sphinxes. A staircase leads up to the transept, 14th-century with five high cross vaults. The presbytery is decorated with works by contemporary American artist Robert Morris.

Interesting chapel of the Cathedral: the Chapel Vinasses with the painting of the 13th century and frescoes of the 19th century; Cappella del Assunzione with frescoes of the 15th century, a young Paolo Uccello; Manassei Chapel with frescoes by Agnolo student Gaddy early 15th century; the Chapel of the Inghirami with the funeral monument of Benedetto da Maiano and a stained glass window from the early 16th century. But the most important chapel of the Cathedral is the Chapel of Centola, which is the Belt of the mother of God, according to the legend, transferred to Saint Thomas by the Virgin Mary and brought to Prato in the 13th century.