Sunday, May 17, 2009

Trani Cathedral

The Trani Cathedral (1150-1250) lies on the sea to the northwest of the harbor in Trani (two towns up the Adriatic coast from Molfetta). It is one of the finest Romanesque churches in Apulia and is famous throughout Italy. It is often used in television and print advertising.

The cathedral has a Romanesque west doorway (13th century carvings) and beautiful bronze doors (c. 1180) by the bronze founder Barisano da Trani. The 32 sections are decorated with figures of Christ, the Virgin, Apostles and Saints. The campanile (reconstructed) is almost detached from the nave.

The impressive interior of the cathedral, the only example of an Apulian church with double columns, was restored to its original Romanesque form in 1952-55. From the side aisles there is access to the Crypt of St Nicholas the Pilgrim (d. 1094), begun about 1100 and decorated with fine capitals.

The lower church, the Chiesa dei Santa Maria della Scala (seventh century), a rectangular space with an ambulatory, contains the Crypt of St Leucius (c. 670) under the transept. St Leucius was the first bishop of Brindisi (seventh century).


Hilda said...

I am absolutely in awe of the ancient dates you've mentioned throughout this post. The church itself is magnificent and the lighting is beautiful.

And I find it cute that even the tower's windows are Molfetta green! Probably light, rather than shutters, but still… :) said...

When I first saw your photo, my initial reaction, before reading your commentary, was "Now, that's Italian!"
I assume that the selection of this church for television and advertising is due in part to its distinctly Italian flavor.

It has surprised me at times that some churches in Italy, such as the Church of San Lorenzo with the Medici Chapel in Florence, are so elaborate and ornate beyond belief on the inside, but the outside front facade is unfinished. The church you showed today was obviously finished in every perfect architectural detail.

marley said...

It looks lovely all lit up :)

Clueless in Boston said...

Great night shot. Amazing how old the church is and it is still in use.

VP said...

Great church, finely lighted and well photographed.