The St. Matthew Cathedral founded by Roberto the Guiscard and consecrated by Pope Gregory VII, was officially opened in March 1084. During the centuries, it has been restored various times and the current appearance dates back to the earthquake of 5 th June 1688, when it was completely rebuilt. The atrium is surrounded by a covered walkway supported by 28 columns with arches and a series of Roman and medieval tombs around the walls and has, at its centre, a granite pool of the classic period. On the southern side of the cathedral stands the bell tower which dates back to XII century. One enters the cathedral, with a Latin cross plan and three naves, through a bronze byzantine door. In the centre nave are the celebrated ambon in the ‘cosmatesco’ style dating back to the last decade of the XII century. The crypt, that preserves the reliquaries of the Patron Saint of the city, is under the transept and the choir.The crypt area is made up of nine rows of three bays with a cross shaped vault which resta on pillars. It presents a structure with nine lines of three spans with cross vaults. In the XVII century, Domenico Fontana made important architectonic and decorative works and delimitated with stuccoes and frescoes. Very interesting is the concept of the double altar of S. Matteo, with the martyr’s bifront statue.

 

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