Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral Rieti

The Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral of Rieti consists of a Basilica Inferiore and a Basilica Superiore. This cathedral towers over the Piazza Cesare Battisti. The main attraction is the Santa Barbara Chapel designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The Baptistry houses a museum.

Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral Rieti

Useful information

The address of the Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta is Piazza Cesare Battisti – 02100 Rieti. Tel. +39 0746 482720. Entrance: Free. Opening hours: Not known.

History and description

Interior Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral Rieti
Interior

The first version of the church dates back to the 4th century, although at that time the church was dedicated to Santa Maria.

The Cathedral of Rieti as it is known now was built in 1109 by a Bishop called Benincasa. Its consecration took place in 1225. The bell tower was added in 1252.

The Baptistry is characterized by two cross vaults and houses the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo. The entrance door to this Battisterio di San Giovanni in Fonte is located under a portico to the left of the main entrance to the church.

Stairs to the right of the entrance to the Basilica Superiore lead to the Basilica Inferiore. The latter consists of one large room with 16 columns and fragments of 14th century wall paintings. One of these columns is made from a milestone taken from the Via Salaria and has a 4th century inscription. The columns all have different types of capitals.

The Romanesque façade has three entrance doors and was restored in 1941. The interior is built in the shape of a Latin cross and has three naves. Each side has four chapels.

The dome dates back to 1794.

Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, what to see

Dome Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral Rieti
Dome

The cathedral is graced with works of art by Andrea Sacchi (“The Guardian Angel”, at the Altar of Santa Barbara) and Giovanni Antonio Mari, among others.

The Santa Barbara Chapel was the work of Bernini.

The funerary monument to Bishop Angelo Capranica is walled into the façade.

The entrance door has a marble frame decorated with floral and animal motifs. The lunette above this door is painted with 15th century frescoes.

In the apse is a fresco by Pietro Paoletti (19th century), depicting “The Solemnity of the Virgin.”

A 19th century ciborium near the main altar holds the relics of Santa Barbara, the patron saint of Rieti.

Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral – Piazza Cesare Battisti, Rieti

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