Amalfi Duomo

The Amalfi Duomo is a famous cathedral on the Amalfi Coast on the Gulf of Salerno, which stretches along the southern side of the Sorrentine Peninsula from romantic Sorrento to Salerno. The picturesque towns that dot this shore, the rugged beauty of the coastline and terrain, and its natural diversity caused to UNESCO to designate it as a World Heritage Site. The towns of Ravello, Positano, and Amalfi and its Amalfi Duomo are singled out for their significant art and architecture meriting special mention.

The town and its cathedral on the Amalfi Coast is located only a little more than 20 miles south of Naples, with good transportation both by road and efficient trains. Built in the early twelfth century, the Duomo di Amalfi (also known as the Cathedral of St. Andrew) is dramatically situated at the top of a steep and elegant flight of stairs overlooking the sea. It contains some other unique features, in addition to its location.

The history of the Amalfi Cathedral begins in 596 AD, when the first Christian church was built on the site. The one that was built in the ninth century to replace it still stands today, and serves as a museum. The present Duomo di Amalfi was built in the early thirteenth century next to the older one in order to provide a suitably grand resting place for the relics of St. Andrew, who is patron saint of Amalfi, Russia, and Scotland. The saint was one of the first apostles, and spread the Christian gospel in Greece where he was later executed. His remains were move from Greece to Constantinople (now Istanbul) in 357 during the rule of the Byzantine Empire. It was during the Fourth Crusade that the relics were taken to the Amalfi Cathedral while it was still under construction. Today you can view them in the Chapel of the Relics.

If you want to know when to go to the Amalfi Cathedral for festivals and other religious events, you will find there are a number of feast days celebrating miracles attributed to St. Andrew. June 27 marks one of the most important and celebrates his sinking of the notorious Barbarossa’s pirate ship. The saint’s feats day is celebrated on November 30, and marks another miracle, the appearance of a liquid called manna on his tomb. This miracle is said to have also happened on his tombs both in Istanbul, Turkey and Patmos in Greece.

Some remodeling on the Amalfi Duomo has occurred over the years, especially during the Baroque period of the eighteenth century when lavish decorations were added to the interior. Most of these were removed from the old basilica in the late twentieth century, revealing the original structure and medieval frescoes. The main, newer Amalfi Cathedral has kept the sumptuous Baroque embellishments.

Entry to the Duomo di Amalfi is free, although there could be some restrictions to certain areas during feast days and religious services. There is an entry fee for the cloister and the neighboring museum. Many of the Amalfi hotels in the city center are within walking distance. If a car is your transportation, you’ll find a metered parking lot down the hill on the seafront that is just across the street from the entrance to the cathedral square.

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