Luogo - Religious building


Where Piazza San Tommaso Apostolo, Ortona (Chieti)

The cathedral is the town-symbol of Ortona as well as the monument that the bombardment of the Second War World damaged the most: in fact it nearly razed it to the ground. Its present look results from an architectural approach that targeted to retrieve only some aspects of the original structure, selecting accurately what to safe and disregarding the relation between the cathedral and the urban environment. Risen, according to the tradition, over a temple consecrated to Janus, the church dates back as a minimum to the fifth century. Often adjusted and re-built over the centuries, especially after the Norman and Turkish raids in 1060 and 1566 respectively, and after earthquakes in 1125 a 1703, the cathedral still keeps the two Gothic portals. The former, built in the thirteenth century and never accomplished, is located on the side of the clock-tower; the latter, partly re-built after 1943, was carried out by the master Nicola Mancino in 1312, as inscribed once on the architrave. The church, formerly consecrated to the Holy Mary, took its present name from the apostle Saint Thomas, whose mortal remains, brought here from Chios on 6 September 1258, are nowadays preserved in a seventeenth-century guilt-silver case, adorned with an image of the saint depicted by the artist from Ortona Tommaso Alessandrino.
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