The Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral of Cremona is located in the city’s central square, Piazza del Comune. Highlights include the façade with its striking protiro, the loggia an and large rose window, the crypt and the mural in the central apse.
Cathedral of Cremona
Address: Piazza del Comune, 5 – Cremona (tel. +39 0372 406391). Opening hours: From 10.30am to 12pm and from 3.30pm to 5.30pm (Sundays and public holidays from 12pm to 12.30pm and from 3.30pm to 5pm). Entrance fee: Free of charge.
History and description
Cremona’s Duomo was originally built in a Romanesque style. Over the centuries, however, Gothic as well as Renaissance ans Baroque elements were added thanks to numerous restorations.
The church was originally built in the 12th century. This was done on the highest top of the hill, where the Roman settlement used to be located. Previously, two churches stood here, dedicated to St Stephen and Santa Maria respectively.
The first version of the cathedral was very different from what it looks like today. It had a basilical floor plan, but no transept. The façade ended in a pointed roof and two towers on either side had to have been built against it.
Later, the two arms of the transept were added, so that the floor plan became cruciform. The façade in the Piazza del Comune was also considerably altered. It was covered with marble slabs, the huge rose window with the biforas next to it was added and the double loggia was built.
What to see
The three statues in the arches above the protiro depict the “Madonna and Child, St Himerius and St Homobonus”. The latter was a local merchant who did a lot of charity and would eventually become the patron saint of Cremona.
The interior is divided into three naves by a series of massive columns. The Romanesque vaults that originally adorned the church have been replaced by cross vaults. The naves end in semi-circular apses. The central apse is graced by a fresco depicting the “Redeemer”.
The Chapel of the Most Blessed Sacrament is located in the right apse, while the Madonna del Popolo Chapel adorns the left apse.
The crypt below the church also consists of three naves. This space, restored in 1606, houses the “Sarcophagus of the Persian Martyrs” from 1506.
The interior wall of the main facade is decorated with a fresco depicting the “Crucifixion”, painted by Il Pordenone in 1502.