La cattedrale di Santa Maria degli Angeli, San Matteo e San Gregorio VII è il principale luogo di culto cattolico della città di Salerno. La cattedrale venne costruita in stile romanico nel'XI secolo e più volte modificata, con diverse aggiunte barocche. Il campanile, di valore storico ed artistico, è un'importante testimonianza della fusione bizantino-normanna del periodo. Su di esso trovano posto otto campane.La forma della chiesa non fu scelta dal Guiscardo ma da Alfano I, arcivescovo di Salerno poeta e medico della famosa Scuola medica salernitana. La chiesa fu consacrata nel giugno del 1084 dal Papa Gregorio VII, ospite in esilio della città. Il Duomo costruito su un'omonima chiesa paleocristiana dedicata a santa Maria degli Angeli, nata sulle rovine di un tempio romano, i lavori iniziali erano di ben più modesti.
I progetti furono ampliati successivamente con il ritrovamento delle spoglie di san Matteo, tumulate nell'antica chiesa il 4 maggio 954 e venute alla luce con la progressiva demolizione di questa. La tradizione narra del rinvenimento in Lucania delle reliquie di San Matteo e della loro successiva traslazione a Salerno, per volere del suo principe longobardo Gisulfo I. La Cattedrale fu consacrata nel 1085 da Papa Gregorio VII e dedicata all'evangelista Matteo, le cui spoglie sono tuttora conservate nella cripta. L'ingresso con la coppia scultorea del leone e della leonessa attuale ha sostituito quello medievale. Di romanico restano l'atrio e il campanile con le decorazioni a tarsia policroma. L'atrio è circondato da un porticato retto da 28 colonne, recuperate dai costruttori del medioevo dai templi ed edifici pubblici romani, con archi a tutto sesto rialzato di derivazione islamiche. Sul quadriportico domina il campanile arabo-normanno a base quadrata con una cella campanaria cilindrica decorata. Esso è arricchito su tutti i lati da una serie di sarcofagi romani, riutilizzati in epoca medievale. L'interno della chiesa è a croce latina a tre navate con il transetto rialzato rispetto al resto della chiesa Il pavimento del Transetto lapideo è una variante dell’opus sectile denominata " Alexandrinum opus " ( prende il nome da M. Aurelius Severus Alexander Imperatore romano dal 222 al 235 d.C. ) è caratterizzato dall’impiego di lastre tonde o rettangolari di marmi policromi incorniciate da fasce di mosaico. All'interno il Monumento funebre della Regina Margherita di Durazzo costruito dal Baboccio. Nella navata centrale si possono ammirare gli amboni, sorretti da colonnine tipicamente bizantine, costruiti alla fine del XII secolo, decorati con sculture e mosaici. Da ammirare nel transetto i pavimenti del coro, del presbiterio e del transetto realizzati con motivi di tessere policrome nel XII secolo variante dell’opus sectile. I mosaici delle absidi laterali ed il sepolcro del papa Gregorio VII. L'interno è di stile secentesco, che ricopre le origini medioevali, infatti sono state rinvenute tracce dei trascorsi medioevali ed in una delle navate laterali è possibile ammirare affreschi di scuola giottesca che emergono dalla più recente muratura. L'interno ospita tombe importanti, tra cui quella del papa Gregorio VII, nell'abside di destra, di Ruggero Borsa, figlio di Roberto il Guiscardo, e della regina Margherita di Durazzo nella navata di sinistra. Il Monumento funebre della Regina Margherita di Durazzo fu costruito dal Baboccio. La cripta, completamente rivestita di marmi in stile barocco mantiene affreschi del seicento e ospita le spoglie mortali del santo patrono, i resti dei SS. Martiri Salernitani, Fortunato, Gaio ed Ante, e le reliquie dei Santi Confessori. La cattedrale è l'unica chiesa di stile romanico ad avere un quadriportico oltre alla chiesa di S.Ambrogio a Milano. L'aspetto attuale è dovuto alla ristrutturazione avvenuta in epoca barocca, effettuata dopo il terremoto del giugno 1688.
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The cathedral of Santa Maria degli Angeli, San Matteo and San Gregorio VII is the main place of Catholic worship in the city of Salerno. The cathedral was built in the Romanesque style in the 11th century and modified several times, with several Baroque additions. The bell tower, of historical and artistic value, is an important testimony of the Byzantine-Norman fusion of the period. On it there are eight bells.The shape of the church was not chosen by Guiscardo but by Alfano I, archbishop of Salerno, poet and doctor of the famous Salerno medical school. The church was consecrated in June 1084 by Pope Gregory VII, a guest in exile of the city. The Cathedral built on an early Christian church of the same name dedicated to Santa Maria degli Angeli, born on the ruins of a Roman temple, the initial works were much more modest.
The projects were subsequently expanded with the discovery of the remains of St. Matthew, buried in the ancient church on May 4, 954 and come to light with the progressive demolition of this. Tradition tells of the discovery in Lucania of the relics of St. Matthew and their subsequent transfer to Salerno, at the behest of his Lombard prince Gisulfo I. The Cathedral was consecrated in 1085 by Pope Gregory VII and dedicated to the evangelist Matthew, whose remains are still preserved in the crypt. The entrance with the sculptural pair of the lion and the current lioness replaced the medieval one. The atrium and the bell tower with polychrome inlaid decorations remain Romanesque. The atrium is surrounded by a portico supported by 28 columns, recovered by the builders of the Middle Ages from Roman temples and public buildings, with raised round arches of Islamic derivation. On the quadriportico dominates the Arab-Norman bell tower with a square base with a decorated cylindrical bell cell. It is enriched on all sides by a series of Roman sarcophagi, reused in medieval times. The interior of the church is a Latin cross with three naves with the transept raised compared to the rest of the church The floor of the stone Transept is a variant of the opus sectile called "Alexandrinum opus" (it takes its name from M. Aurelius Severus Alexander Roman emperor from 222 to 235 AD) is characterized by the use of round or rectangular slabs of polychrome marble framed by bands of mosaic. Inside, the funeral monument of Queen Margherita of Durazzo built by the Baboccio. In the central nave you can admire the ambos, supported by typically Byzantine columns, built at the end of the 12th century, decorated with sculptures and mosaics. In the transept, the floors of the choir, presbytery and transept made with polychrome tesserae motifs in the twelfth century, variant of the opus sectile, are worth admiring. The mosaics of the side apses and the sepulcher of Pope Gregory VII. The interior is of the seventeenth-century style, which covers the medieval origins, in fact traces of the medieval past have been found and in one of the side aisles it is possible to admire frescoes of the Giotto school that emerge from the more recent masonry. The interior houses important tombs, including that of Pope Gregory VII, in the right apse, of Ruggero Borsa, son of Roberto il Guiscardo, and of Queen Margherita of Durazzo in the left aisle. The funeral monument of Queen Margherita of Durazzo was built by the Baboccio. The crypt, completely covered with marble in Baroque style, maintains frescoes from the seventeenth century and houses the mortal remains of the patron saint, the remains of the SS. Martyrs of Salerno, Fortunato, Gaius and Ante, and the relics of the Holy Confessors. The cathedral is the only Romanesque church to have a four-sided portico in addition to the church of S.Ambrogio in Milan. The current appearance is due to the restructuring that took place in the Baroque period, carried out after the earthquake of June 1688.
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To access the Cathedral it is necessary to cross an eighteenth-century marble staircase, with a double flight, which replaced the original circular staircase in 1700. The current entrance has modified the medieval one with the sculptural couple of the lion (strength) and the lioness nursing her baby, symbols of the Church's Power and Charity. Crossing the door you enter a four-sided portico, the only example in Italy in Romanesque style. The atrium is surrounded by a colonnade supported by 28 raging columns from the nearby Roman Forum in Piazza Abate Conforti and from nearby Paestum. The arches are decorated with inlays of volcanic stone, and support a splendid loggia above with mullioned windows and mullioned windows.
The fountain in the center of the atrium is an old baptismal font that replaced the original monumental fountain stolen and brought to Naples. It is enriched on all sides by a series of Roman sarcophagi, reused in medieval times. On the southern side stands a high bell tower from the mid-12th century. The main entrance to the church consists of a Byzantine bronze door, inserted in a medieval marble portal. The start of the work on the Cathedral began in 1080, when he was Archbishop Alfano I,
poet and doctor of the famous Salernitana medical school. The building was commissioned by Roberto il Guiscardo, who conquered the city freeing it from the Lombards.
The church was inaugurated in 1084 by Pope Gregory VII and the work ended in 1085. In the portico there are some sarcophagi obtained from reused Roman burials. The chest, of the lenòs sarcophagi, carved with scenes in high relief, produced from the end of the second century. A.D. and widely spread in the third century. A.D. The lenòs shape, a direct reference to the grape container and the metamorphosis related to it in the production of wine, consolidates the evocative character of the Dionysian theme as an allegory of transformation or rebirth after death. Worthy of note are the Capograsso tomb, known as the “sarcophagus of the abduction of Ariadne”, and that of Duke Guglielmo or the “Caccia al Cinghiale”. On the upper side of the portico is the bell tower, built in Arab-Norman style, 52 meters high with a base of about ten meters on each side. Commissioned by Archbishop Guglielmo da Ravenna between 1137 and 1152. The tower is interesting for the decoration with twelve round arches intertwined with polychrome materials. The bronze door of the church was cast in Constantinople in 1099 and donated to the city by the two spouses Landolfo and Guisana Butrumile. It is made up of 54 panels mostly depicting Byzantine crosses. In the center there is a theory of saints (among which St. Matthew stands out), the symbolic representation of two griffins drinking from a baptismal font. Although the door currently has a greenish tint typical of ancient bronze, it was once covered in gold and silver.
The side chapels are mainly affected by the Baroque culture with well-made eighteenth-century paintings such as the San Gennaro by Francesco Solimena and the Pentecoste by Francesco De Mura. The 14th century Gothic statue of the Virgin and Child, the funeral monument of Queen Margherita di Durazzo del Baboccio. In the central nave there are amboos from the last decades of the 12th century, decorated with sculptures and mosaics. In the transept the mosaic floor of the early 12th century, the mosaics of the side apses and the sepulcher of Pope Gregory VII. Almost the entire repertoire of opus sectile and opus tessellatum derives from that of classicism and the Roman era, up to the Byzantine developments. The floor of the choir and transept, a gift of Archbishop Romualdo I (1121-1137), made up of multicolored marble and tesserae, play in the variation of the Byzantine motif of the circumference around which geometric motifs intertwine. The stone floor, a variant of the opus sectile, is characterized by the use of round or rectangular slabs of polychrome marble framed by bands of mosaic. Opus sectile "Alexandrinum opus" takes its name from Alexander Severus, during whose empire (222-235 AD) it was widespread. It was used in Byzantine architecture and resumed in medieval times in southern Italy and in Rome, by the Cosmati. In the final part of the nave (right) there is a wooden choir delimited by two ambos supported by Byzantine columns decorated with inlay of polychrome stones. From 1180 Guarna ambo and 1195 D'Ajello ambo. On the left is the Guarna ambo, finely decorated with mosaics and sculptures, donated by Romualdo Guarna, Archbishop from 1163 to 1180. The pulpit is supported by four columns, three of which are surmounted by figured capitals, while the fourth presents the capital in Floreal patterns. The Ambo d'Aiello (right), the larger one, on the other hand, is supported by twelve columns with Corinthian and Romanesque capitals, representing the twelve apostles. The lectern is supported by a sculpture inspired by the myth of Mithras with the eagle, which regains its youth by diving into the water as a baptized person prepares for a new life. In front of the pulpit stands a beautiful candlestick for the paschal candle, covered with marble and mosaics, a symbol of the mystery of salvation
On the lower level, at the central altar, there is the Crypt. In 1081 the SS. relics of the apostle Matthew, patron saint of the city, were interred in the crypt in the presence of Alfano I, the Emperor Michael and the Duke Roberto il Guiscardo. The crypt extends under the transept and the choir. The crypt consists of a hall-like environment with nine rows of three bays, with a cross vault resting on columns, which wind in different directions with an admirable architectural effect. The works of the crypt were commissioned to Domenico Fontana, in charge of the architectural and decorative project. Fontana conceived the vault of the crypt in octagonal squares alternating with circular ones, delimited by stuccoes. The fresco paintings on the vault of the crypt are works of particular beauty. The vault of the Crypt entirely stuccoed and frescoed with scenes from the childhood and public life of Jesus (1611) was made by Belisario Corenzio, a late-mannerist painter. Fontana conceived the double central altar (of the crypt) of S. Matteo, whose two-faced statue favored the simultaneous celebration of two masses and placed the thresholds of the Saints in the central apse. Martyrs of Salerno. Michelangelo Naccherino also collaborated with Fontana for the bronze statue of San Matteo in 1606. In the 18th century, between 1718 and 1721, the two entrances to the crypt from the naves were modified. In 1763 it was covered with polychrome marble by Francesco Ragozzino, fully integrating and respecting the decorative basis conceived by Fontana
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