The San Colombo Cathedral in Rimini is better known as Tempio Malatestiano. Tempio means “temple” and refers to the architecture of the church and Malatestiano refers to Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, who was feudal lord of Rimini from 1432 to 1462, and the driving force behind the construction of the church.
Rimini Cathedral (Tempio Malatestiano)
Address: . Phone: +39 . Opening hours: From Monday to Friday from 08.30 to 12.00 and 15.30 to 18.30; Saturday from 08.30 to 12.30 and 15.30 to 19.30; Sunday from 09.00 to 12.30 and 15.30 to 19.00. Entrance fee: free of charge. (Note that prices and times may be subject to change.)
History and description
The new cathedral was to replace the old San Francesco Church, for which Malatesta enlisted the help of the then influential architect Leon Battista Alberti. The latter drew inspiration for his design from the Roman triumphal arch. He even went one step further by plundering marble from the Arch of Augustus and using it for the cathedral.
For the base, he used a type of stone from Istria. The symbols incorporated in this base, including the elephant, the flower and the chess motif, refer to the Malatesta family. The intertwined letters “I” and “S” refer to Sigismondo and his wife Isotta.
Under the seven arches in front of the entrance are the sarcophagi of the most important people in Sigismondo’s court.
The Gothic interior consists of a single nave with six side chapels.
What to see
In the Cappella dei Pianeti one can admire the oldest know depiction of Rimini’s skyline.
The Cappella defli Antenati is graced by the “Sarcophagus of the Ancestors and Descendants” sculpted by Agostino di Duccio. This houses the remains of Malatesta’s own ancestors.
The biggest attractions, however, are the “Crucifixion” painted by Giotto in 1312 and a fresco painted by Piero della Francesca depicting Sigismondo Malatesta kneeling before Saint Sigismondo.
The Treasury (Tesoro) is next to the cathedral itself, in the Sala San Guudenzio. On display here are sacred documents and book illuminations, sacred objects used during mass, chalices and paintings, as well as relics from the 14th and 15th and a bas-relief from the 13th century.