It is dedicated to Saint Matthew, one of the four Evangelists, whose tomb is inside the Cripta.
It was several times modified in the following centuries. In 1688 the architect Ferdinando Sanfelice remodeled in Neapolitan Baroque and Rococo Architecture the interior of the Duomo. Finally, a restoration in the 1930s brought it back to an appearance similar to the original one. Historically the Duomo is remembered as the initial symbol of the Italian Renaissance, because inside there it is the tomb of Pope Gregory VII, the Pope of Canossa who started the rejection from Italy of the German domination of the Holy Roman Empire.
The most striking external feature is the bell tower (mid-12th century), with small arcades and mullioned windows, standing 56 m high and in Arabic-Norman style. The façade has a Romanesque portal with Byzantine-style bronze doors from Constantinople (1099), with 56 panels with figures, crosses and stories from Jesus's life. The entrance has a portico with 28 antique columns whose pointed arches, with lava rock intarsia, show influence of Arab art, and contains a series of ancient Roman sarcophagi.
The interior has a nave and two aisles, divided by pilasters in which the original columns are embedded, and three apses. Artworks include two pulpits with mosaic decorations, paintings by Francesco Solimena, a 14th century Gothic statue of Madonna with Child and the sepulchres of queen Margherita of Durazzo, of Roger Borsa and of archbishop Bartolomeo d'Arpano, and the tomb of Gregory VII.
The crypt, believed to house the remains of St. Matthew, is a groin vaulted hall with a basilica-like plan divided by columns. It was restored under design by Domenico Fontana in 1606-1608, with marble decorations added in the 18th century.
The Duomo Museum houses artworks from different ages, including the silver statues of the Salernitane Martyrs (13th century) and documents of the renowned Schola Medica Salernitana (the first University of Europe, according to some scholars like G. Crisci).
- Crisci, Generoso (1962). Salerno sacra:ricerca storica. Salerno: Edizioni della Curia arcivescovile.
- Musi, Aurelio (1999). Salerno moderna. Salerno: Editore Avagliano.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Salerno Cathedral (Duomo)|
- Photo of the Cripta of the Salerno Cathedral
- Official website (Italian)
- Link to an Italian page about the Cathedral