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VISIT AMALFI

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The cathedral

The cathedral of Amalfi

The monumental Duomo or cathedral towers over a steep flight of steps, an is dedicated to Sant’Andrea. It was founded in the 9th century, extended in 987 and later in 1203, rebuilt in the Arab-Norman style which is typical of Sicilian architecture, it underwent alterations in 1526. 1566 and 1691 and was completely rebuilt in 1701 to 1731, this time in baroque style. The animated extremely scenographic façade was a later addition and was rebuilt in between 1875 and 1894, after the previous façade collapsed in 1861. It was the work of Enrico Alvino (Milan, 1809 – 1872) and, after his death, of the Neapolitan architects, Luigi della Corte and Guglielmo Raimondi, who drew their inspiration from primitive 13th century designs, rare ancient fragments and written memoirs. The façade is crowned by a high gable with a mosaic decoration showing Christ on the throne between the symbols of the Evangelists and earthly powers, based on a drawing of the well-known Neapolitan paintaer, Dominco Morelli (1826 – 1901). To the left of the façade is the beautiful, tall bell-tower dating back to 1180, but in fact completed a century later, in 1276. It has cylindrical corner turrets linked to one another and to the cylindrical spire by Arabian-style arches, and is surmounted by a small lantern and covered in bright yellow and green majolica tiles. The cathedral interior was basically rebuilt in the 18th century even though the marble which covers the ancient columns (the seventh on the left and right) was completed in 1827 by the Neapolitan marble-workers Giuseppe and Tommaso Borelli. The interior now appears in its baroque “edition” with a double row of ten columns dividing the three naves of the ancient church built in the shape of the Latin cross.

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The cloister of Paradise

Cloister of paradise in Amalfi

The cloister of Paradise is an example of that type of art which originates from a combination of the Byzantine world and the Arab world. Numerous lancet arches rise from pairs of columns and interlace to produce an intense decorative effect. It was built about the middle of the 13th century as a cemetery for distinguished citizens. At the present time sarcophagi, transennae and pillars dating from Roman and Medieval times are assembled in the little hall of the cloister. Also here, architectonic elements of Norman origin – mullioned windows with two or three lights – are side by side with others of Arab origin such as is pictorially interlaced arches, majolica tiles.

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