Cathedral of Amalfi
is architectonical complex made by two communicating churches, a
atrium, a church tower and a cloister called “Chiostro
first core of this complex, is the northern church built during the IX
century; in this church we find a wide nave with a narrow aisle, later
used to connect the old church to the new one.
But already before the IX century Amalfi had a church as cathedral and
this is documented in a letter, dated 596, wrote by Pope Gregorio Magno,
to the rector of the churches in “Campania”, where the Pope
rebuked “Pimerio”, bishop of the “Civitas Amalfitana”,
because he did not live in Amalfi. Analysing the letter was discovered
that “Pimerio” was not the fist bishop of the town, but there
were somebody else before his (“Pervenit ad nos Pimerium Amalfitanae
Civitatis episcoporum” = “came to us Pimerio from the
bishops of Amalfi town…”).
already in the VI century had
to exist a cathedral in Amalfi, probably in paleo-cristian style and built
in the middle of the “Civitas Castrum” (fortress town). The
position was strategic, built at 20 meters over the sea-line, on a little
knoll of volcanic punier-stone.
this first church, we have just some columns and probably three arches
modified during the XIV century in the “upper crypt of the Crib”.
the IX century, the old church was rebuilt in two or three aisles. Today
inside the church we find transennas, banisters and portals in marble with
Byzantine and Longobardian
artistic elements, that came from the VIII and IX century the church was
dedicated, since the beginning to the “Virgin”, while in the
XVI century his name was changed in “Chiesa del Crocifisso”.
987, the duck of Amalfi “Mansone I” obtained by the Pope
Giovanni XV, the elevation of the amalfi church at archiepiscopal seat.
For this reason “Mansone I” built the new cathedral with three
aisles near the old church, and because S.Andrew had already been the
protector of Amalfi, the new temple was dedicated to him.
the XIII century the archbishop “Matteo di Capua” and the
cardinal of Amalfi “Pietro Capuano” widen the cathedral
building the “Atrium” and the “Crypt”.
the building the new Church, the old one gradually lost importance
especially after the construction, in front of his entrance (1180), the
important personage has been the archbishop “Filippo Augustariccio”,
who completed the town church in 1276, building the bell-cell, rich in
arches. The same archbishop , between 1266 and 1268 built the "Chiostro
biggest transformation which the Cathedral received, dated back to XVIII
century, thanks to the Archbishop “Michele Bologna”: All
columns were covered up with marble; a gold sequin ceiling
was realised in the middle aisle with paintings by “Andrea
d’Aste and Giuseppe Castellano” that represent the S.Andrew
the same period were also built the front of the church and the flight of
steps (1728), that replaced the old one built in 1452.
in the middle of the XIX century the front of the cathedral was damaged
and, since during the works, were discovered the old Romanic front with
little arches, columns and mosaics, it was decided to realise the façade
as the original , with Byzantine mosaics, that were made by
Salviati from Venice and that represents Jesus Christ and his Apostles.