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).
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