The San Bartolomeo Cathedral is one of four churches in Avezzano dedicated to the saint that have been damaged by earthquakes in the course of the centuries. After another earthquake in the 20th century, the church received a completely new structure. It is also known as the Cattedrale dei Marsi.
San Bartolomeo Cathedral Avezzano
Address, opening hours and entrance fee
Address: Piazza Risrogimento, 67051 Avezzano. Tel. +39 0863 413868. Opening hours: Unknown. Entrance: Free.
History and description
The San Bartolomeo Church is the Cathedral of both the city and the Diocese of Avezzano. The oldest reference to this church is a plaque from 1156.
Some theories claim the church would have been built on the San Salvatore Church that already existed before the year 1000. These theories are based on the finds of some Byzantine decorative elements found between the rubble after the 1915 quake.
In the 12th century, the church was declared a royal chapel by King Guglielmo II of Sicily.
After the earthquake of 1349 caused much damage, the church was restored and rebuilt on a larger scale in a Renaissance style some time later.
The last major rebuilding took place after a severe earthquake in 1915. Reconstruction began in 1930 and the dedication of the new church took place in 1942. The Romanesque-Renaissance style was replaced by a Baroque version and it is this that can still be seen today.
In bombings during World War II, the church was again damaged, though only slightly.