Marvel at the unusual design of Reggio di Calabria’s magnificent neo-Romanesque cathedral, one of the largest places of worship in the region.
The huge Cathedral of Calabria, also known as Maria SS. Assunta in Cielo, is the center of religious life in the city. Admire the grand façade from outside before entering the spacious interior to inspect its detailing, which includes bronze bas-reliefs, religious paintings and other ornamental decorations.
The church has been damaged by earthquakes and wars over the centuries. Read the inscriptions on the memorial stone on the right aisle, which record some of the damaging incidents to have befallen the structure. The cathedral was rebuilt several times, most recently after the 1908 earthquake.
Measuring 308 feet (94 meters) long, 72 feet (22 meters) wide and 69 feet (21 meters) high, the cathedral is one of the largest churches in the region. Admire the gleaming white façade of the church, which was rebuilt in Romanesque style.
Enter the interior, where a reverent atmosphere pervades. As you explore, look for the remains of a column kept in the right side chapel of the presbytery. According to local legend, this column is said to have exploded into flame while St. Paul the Apostle was preaching here in Reggio di Calabria in A.D. 61, and serves as a symbol of how St. Paul’s words set alight the spark of Christianity in the people listening to his sermon.
Search for the restored Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament to see colorful inlaid marble detailing. Other notable features include statues of St. Stephen and St. Paul, which were completed by acclaimed Calabrian sculptor Francesco Jerace in 1934. Several other local artists, including painter Alberto Bonfà, have works hung here. Other precious pieces include l’Altare Maggiore in bronze, a 19th-century painting by Giuseppe Crestadoro and Domenico Maroli’s 17th-century oil painting on the altar, which depicts the sacrifice of Melchisedeck from the book of Genesis.
The cathedral also has several colorful stained-glass windows. Arrive late in the afternoon before sunset and notice how the sun shines through them, producing colorful beams.
Find the Cathedral of Calabria in the center of the city of Reggio di Calabria. The cathedral faces onto Piazza Duomo.