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The elaborately decorated bronze door entrance to the Duomo. One of the main attractions in the town is the amazing cathedral, which is dedicated to St. Matthew, whose tomb is located in the incredible crypt. His relics were reportedly translated to the existing structure, which, as in many other places, was itself built over the ruins of a Roman temple. The product was consecrated in 1085 by Pope Gregory VII, whose tomb is also located here, in the right apse as you’re facing the altar (he died in exile in Salerno). It was, however, modified in the subsequent centuries, most notably in 1688 when it was remodeled in Neapolitan Baroque and Rococo architecture after reported damage resulting from an earthquake but a 1930s-era restoration attempted to return it to its original appearance. Its façade now features a Romanesque portal with bronze doors from Constantinople which date to 1099 and includes 56 panels of the life of Christ.

One of its most prominent features is the crypt, which is one of the most elaborate I’ve seen so far in Italy, but there are many other notable features as well, which have been created and restored over the course of many centuries. The awesome bell tower dates to the twelfth century and stands more than 180 feet high. The interior is really amazing also. It is predominantly white, making it quite light and airy. The architect seems rather fond of floral motifs. The central and two side apses are adorned with twelfth century mosaics in red, blue and gold. They’ve suffered earthquake damage over the centuries but some still remain and have been restored. One of the most curious features was a chapel (Rosario) featuring one of the most graphic depictions of Christ I’ve ever seen. Crusaders had their weapons blessed in the Capella delle Crociate (Chapel of the Crusades) before heading to the Holy Land. This is one of the most popular sites in the city and is well worth a visit.

The elaborately decorated crypt is believed to house the relics of Matthew the Apostle. It was restored by Domenico and Giulio Fontana from 1606-1608, but it has undergone several renovations over the years. Marble decorations were added in the 18th century. The frescoes are scenes from the Gospel of Matthew as well as some new additions from Salerno's more recent history, specifically the siege of the city by the French.

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Additional Photos by Terez Anon (terez93) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 89 W: 78 N: 1051] (1873)
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