Basilica Metropolitana di Maria Santissima Assunta in Cielo (Duomo)
The Cathedral, dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption in the Sky, is the largest religious building in Calabria, the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Reggio Calabria-Bova. Located in the historic center of the city, where it shows its prospectus Gothic-Norman in the square. The Cathedral dates back to the second millennium when, with the Norman invasion witnessed the gradual abandonment of the Greek-Byzantine cult. During the sixteenth century the building was looted and burned by the Turks, then altered several times. In 1741 the Cathedral was rebuilt in the late Baroque style of Sicilian influence, with a Latin cross with three naves. Following the earthquake of 1783, other restoration donated to the new Cathedral a Romanesque style. A new catastrophic event, the earthquake of 1908, caused considerable damages and the building was completely rebuilt, adjusting to the new plant for the reconstruction of the city designed by De Nava, in Neo-Romanesque style. The Cathedral was consecrated in 1928. The present appearance recalls the architecture of the Eclectic-Liberty style (in use in the city during its last reconstruction) that tends to merge Medieval Romanesque and Gothic art. The main facade is divided into three parts and has four octagonal towers topped by crosses; in the central part opens a three-light window surmounted by a rose window. On the front steps there are the magnificent statues of St. Paul (who, according to tradition, has converted the people to Christianity) and St. Stephen of Nicaea, the first bishop of the city, carved in 1928 by Francesco Jerace (author of the monumental pulpit that is located inside). It logs in through three bronze (works by Venturini, Poidomani, and Bibbò). The bell tower, 28,15 m high, was completed in 1931. The interior, a basilica plant, is in Romanesque style with Classical motifs: beam columns, naves covered by wooden trusses decorated by two hundred swastikas, symbol of the light of the advent of Christ. The three naves culminate in three polygonal apses and host eight chapels containing valuable works of art. In the final part of the right aisle there is the trunk of the column, according to tradition, would belong to the miracle of St. Paul; in the central apse stands the altar decorated with a bronze bas-relief by Antonio Berti; on the left nave is the "Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament", which is the most important Baroque monument of the city, declared "National Monument" for the preciousness of polychrome marble inlaid Florentine mosaic. It was built in 1539 by Archbishop Agostino Gonzaga and ended in 1655. At the corners, in eight niches, shall include the statues of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, the four Evangelists, and the two Eucharistic doctors, St. Thomas and St. Bonaventure, works in white marble by Francesco Jerace and Concesso Barca. Recently, at the Cathedral, was inaugurated the Diocesan Museum, which collects valuable objects and vestments.