Cathedral Salerno

The Cathedral of Salerno is characterized by a rather unadorned, baroque façade. Highlights are the beautiful quadriportico and the crypt, where the Evangelist Matthew is buried.

Cathedral Salerno (Duomo)

Useful information

Cathedral Salerno (facade)
Facade

Address: Piazza Alfano. Telephone: (+39) 089 231387. Basilica opening hours: weekdays from 8.30 to 20.00, Sundays and public holidays from 8.30 to 13.00 and from 16.00 to 20.00. Crypt opening hours: weekdays from 9.00 to 19.45, Sundays and public holidays from 8.30 to 13.00 and from 16.00 to 18.00. Ticket price: Free of charge.

History and description

The San Matteo Cathedral of Salerno was founded in 845. Robert Guiscard was responsible for a later reconstruction, which lasted from 1076 to 1085.

Renovated in the 18th century, the church was severely damaged by an earthquake in 1980.

The first thing to notice about the cathedral is its quadroportico. It is the only one in Italy apart from that of the Sant’Ambrogio Church in Milan. The columns are from the ancient Roman Forum, while the arches are decorated with inlays of volcanic stone.

The bronze door to the church proper is called Porta dei Leoni. The door is decorated with nielo (an alloy of silver, copper, lead and sulphur) work which was executed in Constantinople.

The 12th century bell tower shows Arab-Norman influences. It is almost 52 meters tall and has an surface area of about 10 by 10 meters.

What to see inside

Crypt

The crypt was given a Baroque facelift at the beginning of the 17th century. It houses the mortal remains of San Matteo, one of the four Evangelists and the patron saint of the city. The frescoes show scenes from the Gospel of Matthew, along with some events from Salerno’s own history. The saint has been buried in the crypt since 954.

Next to the door to the crypt, there is a relief of a ship being unloaded.
Chapel of the Crusades and Tomb of Gregory VII

Chapel of the Crusades and Tomb of Gregory VII

The tomb of Gregory VII stands under a vault decorated with a mosaic in the right-hand apse. The Pope was a guest of Robert Guiscard when he died in exile in 1085. In this “Cappella delle Crociate” the arms of knights on crusade were blessed.

More attractions

The pagan sarcophagus of Archbishop Carafa is decorated with a relief representing the “Rape of Persephone”.

The two pulpits date back to the end of the 12th century.

The tomb of Margaret of Anjou, who died in 1412, was made by Baboccio di Piperno.

The tomb of Bishop Nicolò Piscicelli from 1471 was made by Iacopo della Pila.

Andrea da Salerno painted the “Pietà”.

Cathedral, Salerno

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