Visit the Amalfi Cathedral and the Cloister of Paradise

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The Cathedral of Amalfi is one of the symbolic monuments of the city: discover all the beauties and visit one of the wonders of the Amalfi Coast.

The Cathedral of Amalfi is one of the most appreciated attractions of the wonderful city of Amalfi. The imposing building, located in the Piazza del Duomo of the same name, is capable of leaving anyone enchanted in front of it, thanks to its original architectural features that mix the Romanesque and Baroque style, Gothic details and Rococo details in a very unique way. The history of the Amalfi Cathedral is in fact marked by a long series of transformations, alterations and renovations that have given life to what the Cathedral represents today.

The Cathedral of Amalfi: structure and external works

The religious building dominates the city from the top of a large staircase of 57 steps and is actually made up of two ancient buildings once distinct that today form the monumental complex: the Basilica of the Crucifix, dating back to the 9th century and built on the basis of a pre-existing sacred building, and the most recent cathedral, founded in 987 by the Duke of Amalfi Mansone I. The cathedral of Amalfi is dedicated to Sant’Andrea, patron saint of the city, and it is precisely inside the church that the mortal remains are buried of the Apostle who were transported from Constantinople to Amalfi by Cardinal Pietro Capuano, who recovered them during the IV Crusade. Going up the steps in front of the Duomo, the first thing that strikes the eye is its colorful and sumptuous neo-Moorish facade, the result of much more recent artistic projects than the original layout of the church.

It was in fact the architect and urban planner Errico Alvino who was commissioned to rethink the facade of the Cathedral, after it suffered serious damage following a collapse. The construction works of the pediment were entrusted to Domenico Morelli, Italian painter and politician who conceived and created the work with the help of his faithful disciple Paolo Vetri. The designs were translated into mosaics by the Salviati company of Venice and still today their shapes and bright colors dominate the entrance of this place of worship. The Duomo is flanked by a splendid Romanesque bell tower, built between the 12th and 13th centuries and covered with precious mosaic tiles in the Arab style.

The interior of the Amalfi Cathedral

The entrance to the Cathedral of Amalfi is a magnificent bronze door from Constantinople, and once you pass the door, the interior of the cathedral amazes you with baroque forms, marble and elegant ornaments. The plan of the Duomo is made up of a transept and apse, and its coffered ceiling tells the story of San Andrea with its paintings. The high altar, also in Baroque style, is characterized by a canvas representing the crucifixion of Saint Andrew the Apostle, a copy by Mattia Preti, flanked by a painted wooden crucifix. In the sacristy of the church there is instead an eighteenth-century processional statue of the patron saint, called the “stipo” by the local inhabitants.

The statue is carried in procession by the Amalfi people during the annual celebrations dedicated to the beloved saint. The crypt of the Cathedral is also worth a visit, which houses the important remains of San Andrea. After the saint’s martyrdom, his relics were moved from Patras to Constantinople and remained there until 1208 when Cardinal Capuano brought them back to their homeland. The Crypt today presents itself with baroque forms and rich stucco decorations. The central marble altar is the work of Domenico Fontana. The large bronze statue of Sant’Andrea is the result of Michelangelo Naccherino, the marble one of San Lorenzo is by Pietro Bernini, father of Gian Lorenzo, while that of S. Stefano is by a local sculptor.

The Cloister of Paradise

From the portico of the Duomo you finally access the Cloister of Paradise, a structure built in the thirteenth century to act as a cemetery for the noble Amalfi families. In this noble holy place there are six frescoed chapels that belonged to as many local families and housed the illustrious remains of their representatives. The style of the Cloister is Romanesque but the arabesque influences can be appreciated and inside there is a suggestive garden with palm trees surrounded by arcades with thin white columns.

The Cloister of Paradise is a treasure trove of several frescoes of historical-artistic importance, such as the one depicting the Crucifixion attributed to Roberto d’Oderisio, a painter of the mid-fourteenth century, promoter of the Giotto style. You can visit the Amalfi Cathedral all year round and the entrance times vary according to the season. From March to June from 9.00 to 18.45, from July to September from 9.00 to 19.45 and from November to February from 10.00 to 13.00 and from 14.30 to 16.30. The admission price is only € 3.00 and certainly worth a visit to this jewel of art, history and culture.

Source: SiViaggia