Cattedrale di S. Anastasia
Italia - Calabria - KR - Santa Severina
Architectural and ecclesiastical heritage
The Co-Cathedral of Santa Anastasìa was built at the behest of Bishop Ruggiero di Stefanunzia between 1274 and 1295 and erected over the ruins of an earlier structure. The present Latin cross-shaped church, surmounted by a dome, recalls the plan of the former Cathedral dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows. Its façade rebuilt in the 18th century, features three splendid stone portals surmounted by the coats of arms of bishops and is characterised by two superimposed orders of pilaster strips, blind arches and niches All that remains of the original edifice is the main portal with pointed arch. It is surmounted by a split tympanum supported by fluted pilaster strips with composite capitals. The Latin inscription "BRACHIO SANCTO SUO DEFENDET engraved on the lintel and flanked by angels and cherub heads, refers to the narrow escape from the bradyseism in 1638. The three-aisles interior has a coffered ceiling painted in the middle. On the lateral walls are frescoes representing scenes from the Old and New Testament made between 1905 and 1907. On the right side of the presbytery is a marble ambo commissioned by Bishop Caffarelli, on which you can glimpse a carved board depicting Jesus among the doctors. Whereas on the left side there is a 18th century wooden Bishop’s throne commissioned by Bishop Carlo Berlingieri, as evidenced by his coat of arms dating back to the 18th century. Set against the frescoed walls and concealed behind the inlaid polychrome marble altar are the wooden choir stalls. The three chapels along the right-hand aisle are dedicated to the Crucifixion, St. Anastasìa and Our Lady of the Angels, respectively. In the chapel of the Crucifix there is a wooden Baroque altar decorated with vegetables motifs in relief over which is placed a wooden crucifix dating back to the 15th century. This singular piece of workmanship is highly venerated by the inhabitants of Santa Severina. The chapel dedicated to the Patron Saint hosts a painting attributed to the Neapolitan painter Fabrizio Santafede showing St. Anastasìa with her habitual iconographic attributes. There is also a characteristic processional statue of St. Anastasìa resting on wooden base. It wears a crown and holds in her hands a palm frond and a Bible on which there is a scale model of the city symbolising the protection exercised over the town by its Patron. On the left-hand aisle are the Chapels of the Blessed Sacrament and St. Leo which is of great importance from an artistic and historical point of view as it recalls the homonymous Cathedral suppressed in 1571. Moreover, a 16th century fresco at the end of the aisle is visible. It depicts the Madonna and Child between St. Francis of Paola and a Bishop Saint with a crosier in his right hand and a mitre lying on the ground beside him. This character has been interpreted in many different ways. According to some critics, he is Pope Zachary, others suggest that he is Joachim of Fiore. Located to the left of the Cathedral, the beautiful Byzantine Baptistery, built in the 10th century, is a unique building in its kind. It features a circular base with a Greek cross plan. A circle of eight spolia columns support a dome raised on an octagonal drum surmounted by a blind lantern. In the middle is a marble baptismal font. On the wall you can still admire fragments of frescoes dating back to the 10th-12th century.
Galleria fotografica

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