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Cathedral St Mary Assunta of Rieti

The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, located in the historic center of Rieti, Italy, is an architectural and artistic testimony of great historical importance. The local Christian community began to build its cathedral as early as the 6th century, as evidenced by the first mention of the cathedral in 598, when the bishop of Spoleto, Crisanto, was commissioned by Gregory the Great to deposit relics of the martyrs in the cathedral of Rieti. Originally dedicated to St. Mary, the cathedral was completely rebuilt in the 12th century, during a period of splendor for the city, which became a papal see on several occasions. The new cathedral was consecrated by Pope Honorius III in 1225, and the bell tower was added in 1253.

The original Romanesque style of the cathedral was significantly altered over the centuries. In the 17th century, Cardinal Gianfrancesco Guidi di Bagno introduced Baroque elements such as large pilasters and a vault over the central nave. In the 18th century, ten chapels were added and the dome was rebuilt after an earthquake in 1785. The interior decoration was embellished with frescoes and neoclassical elements, especially in the high altar and the presbytery. The 20th century brought a restoration effort that sought to restore the original Romanesque appearance, eliminating Baroque and Neoclassical additions. Despite these changes, the cathedral remains a remarkable example of architectural and artistic evolution over the centuries. In addition, the Cathedral houses numerous works of art, including sculptures by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and paintings by Antoniazzo Romano, making this building an important cultural and religious center.

  • Address
    Piazza Cesare Battisti, 1, 02100 Rieti, Italy
  • Web
  • Visiting Hours
  • What to see
    Romanesque basilica, Chapels, Bernini sculptures

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