The Cathedral of Amalfi is located but a short walk from the Marina, where the ferries land. From the boat you go straight ahead into the Via Duca Mansone I, till you come to the Piazza Duomo. The steps on your right lead to the Cathedral. St. Andrew is buried in the crypt. The complex also includes a museum and a cloister.
Cathedral of Sant’Andrea Amalfi
History and description
The Cathedral of Amalfi really consists of two connected basilicas. The older, 9th century one is called Basilica del Crocifisso. Its right isle forms the connection to the other basilica.
The location of the basilica, on a hill 20 meters above sea level, was chosen in order to be able to defend the church.
The bell tower was constructed in the 13th century.
What to see
The black and white facade of the Duomo is characterized by its Norman-Arab architecture. The decorations of the arches are quite uncommon in Italian religious buildings.
What is not uncommon is the tiled dome. Almost every city on the Amalfi coast has a similar one.
The bronze door was brought to Amalfi from Constantinople.
Many of the columns and capitols decorating the church were taken from elsewhere and transported to Amalfi by sea.
On June 27 1544, Turkish pirates attacked Amalfi. The locals prayed to Sant’Andrea and were rewarded when a storm chased the attackers away. The event is depicted in a painting by Ottavio Eliani on the high altar. June 27 is still a local holiday in Amalfi.
The red porphyry baptismal font was brought here from Paestum.
Chiostro del Paradiso
The Chiostro del Paradiso is characterized by its colonnaded garden and a portico decorated with all manner of sculptures, frescoes, sarcophagi and other ornaments. The most important fresco depicts the “Crucifixion”. The cloister used the be the burial place of local VIPs.
The crypt contains the mortal remains of St. Andrew (Sant’Andrea) himself. The saint’s corpse had been brought back from the Holy Land by Cardinal Pietro Capuano in 1208. According to legend, manna (an edible substance God provided for the Israelites during their travels in the desert) is said to have issued from the saint’s bones.
One highlight of the museum adjacent to the church is the bishop of Amalfi’s 18th-century sedan chair, brought from Macao.
There is also a bejeweled miter, decorated with pearls and gold. Bishops were apparently quite spoilt in those days.
Address: Piazza Duomo, 1 – 84011 Amalfi. Phone: +39 089 873558. Opening times: Every day from 10:00 till 18:00. Ticket: Free. (Note that opening times and admission may be subject to change.)