A few steps from the castle, right at the entrance to Bari's old town, the metropolitan cathedral of St. Sabinus is an historical episcopal see whose firm and harmonious lines reflect the architecture of the nearby Basilica of St. Nicholas. Built in the 13th century, it represents an extraordinary example of Apulian Romanesque architecture, in whose basement are kept precious archaeological finds, such as the ruins of a civic building of Roman age, a three-nave early christian basilica and a small Byzantine church.
When you step inside, your gaze roams over the three solemn naves, divided by 16 columns that support arches and fake matronea. In the 17th-century crypt you can see amazing marbles that enhance the icon of the Madonna Odegitria, which reached the port following a violent storm, as well as the relics of St. Sabinus on the main altar.
The tour continues in the adjacent palace of the Curia housing the Diocesan Museum replete with precious finds and artworks.
A masterly example of Apulian Romanesque architecture, the cathedral of St. Sabinus displays a façade with a large rose window in the middle, hemmed by grotesque figures and a series of single and double lancet windows. Along one side unfold a series of arches, from where also rises the trulla, a building used as a sacristy. The sober interiors are divided into three naves, featuring a refined ambon, and the 13th-century ciborium. The crypt is a triumph of Baroque.
In the central nave of the church, on the summer solstice day, June 21st at 5pm, something unique and extraordinary happens: beams of light penetrate through the rose window at the centre of the main façade, hitting the marble mosaic rose window at the foot of the altar, overlapping perfectly, thus giving the impression of a link between earth and sky.
Piazza dell'Odegitria 1 70100 Bari +390805210605
Free entry for everyone
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