Today, we are still anchored off the coast of Amalfi, Italy. We are tendered to shore in those orange roofed life boats.
Looking at the coast, this is the splendid view this morning! See that tall building in the center of the photo? That is our first stop.
We will be visiting the Saint Andrew Cathedral which is now a museum…….. It is hot and already the tourists are gathering!
Looking up at the cathedral we have sixty-two deep stairs to navigate to the top. Built on the site of a pagan temple, the church was added layer by layer. Over the years different cultures built on the site, as you can tell by the different architecture. At other times, the structure was damaged by nature and re-built. It exchanged hands over the centuries between the Romans and the Muslims. The first church, now the Diocesan Museum of Amalfi, was built in the 9th century. A second church was built to the south in the 10th century, and this is now the Cathedral. By the 12th century the two churches formed a single six aisle Romanesque church, which was reduced to five in the 13th century, to allow the construction of the cloister of Paradise, in the Arab-Norman style.
A view from the church steps……
The bell tower was constructed between the 12th and 13th centuries in front of the first church, topped by an elaborate crown decorated with marble and majolica in the Arab-Norman style, also seen in other churches in southern Italy in this period. The chapels inside are variously Gothic and Renaissance, with the nave decorated in the Baroque style in the 18th century.
In 1861, part of the facade collapsed, damaging the atrium. The whole front of the church was then rebuilt to a design by architect, Errico Alvino, in a richly decorated manner, drawing on Italian Gothic and especially Arab-Norman styles.
And one from the cloister…………
I imagined the cloister garden to have beautiful fountains and flowers during the Muslim reign and and maybe an herbal garden when the priests were here.
I was amazed that both cultures left some of the others work un-disturbed. They just covered up some of the architecture they didn’t like, and painted over it with their own. In other parts of the cathedral they left the architecture the way it was and adapted their culture to it. Civilization marches on and everyone left their mark.
This was the sign showing the different sections of the cathedral/museum today.
Many of the architectural pieces that were broken or re-placed were displayed.
And here is the painting of a saint that has had the face removed. No idolatry allowed when the church served as a mosque. The rest of the tableau was just painted over, to be revealed later, when it was uncovered or worn off.
The remains of St. Andrew were reportedly brought to Amalfi from Constantinople after the Crusaders sacked it in 1206, during the Fourth Crusade by Cardinal Peter of Capua, who was from Amalfi. The Cardinal was skilled and well traveled, but many church leaders did not like dealing with him and after a run in with King Richard I of England, he decided to go on a Crusade. In 1208, the crypt was completed and the relics were turned over to the church. The church has been looted over the years and St Andrew’s relics are no longer here, but the site is………….
I always like a photo of the floors…….I’m leaving my footprint too!
Down the stairs and out the back way, we re moving on!