The wonderful Cathedral of Troia, dedicated to the Beata Vergine Maria Assunta in Cielo (the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into the Heaven), rises over the historic centre. It's an extraordinary example of Puglia's Romanesque architecture, characterized by a harmonious combination of styles on the façade.
The magnificent rose window, a fretwork of carved stone, dominates the façade, which also features a bronze portal surrounded by elegant arches. The doors are decorated with high-reliefs depicting episodes from the lives of bishops and saints, and framed by dancing figures, lions and small columns.
The interior, which boasts a vast array of symbols, is divided into three naves, each separated by 13 columns (the number of the Apostles plus Christ). These lead to an asymmetric apse, the architectural affirmation of a creative spirit rebelling against the rationality of symmetrical geometry.
The 18th century halls of what was once the bishop's palace house the Cathedral's Treasure, a precious collection of silverware, gold-plated bronze sculptures, sacred vestments, and parchments. Also worth a visit is the Diocesan Museum, with its marvelous medieval furniture.
Built with materials taken from the ancient Roman city, the building was founded by Bishops Girardo and Guglielmo I between 1093 and 1106. Impetus for the project was provided by the discovery of the relics of Sant’Eleuterio and then again when the remains of San Ponziano and Sant’Anastasio were brought to town. Various modifications were made in the 18th century when the Bourbon King Charles III took a few columns to decorate the Reggia di Caserta (near Naples). In the 19th century, the Cathedral was renovated by Travaglini and the aristocratic chapels were removed.
The Cathedral is a magnificent example of Puglia's Romanesque architecture. It's best known for its extraordinary rose window, which stands out on the façade with its 11 exquisitely carved sections. The interior consists of a large chamber divided into three sections by two rows of granite columns topped by classical capitals. The chancel, the only one of its kind in Puglia, reveals clear references to the Norman architectural traditions of Sicily, while the continuous transept ends in a single apse. This is overlooked by the 13th century rose window, which is framed by a splendid arcade decorated with sculptures.
The architrave above the main portal is particularly beautiful with its representation of Christ enthroned between Mary and Saint Peter in the Byzantine iconographic style of the Deesis. Other highlights include the bronze doors of the major and minor portals created by Oderisio da Benevento between 1119 and 1127; the 12th-century Ambon, painted with scenes inspired by Eastern culture and decorated with precious Byzantine and Arab fabrics; and the Exultet (also from the 12th century), embellished with miniatures and conserved in the Cathedral Archive.
Free entry for everyone
Groups Reception, Merchandising
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