Altamura Cathedral

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Altamura Cathedral
The interior

Altamura Cathedral (Italian: Duomo di Alamura, Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta), dedicated to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is a Roman Catholic cathedral in the city of Altamura, in the province of Bari, Apulia, in southern Italy.

Since 1986 it has been the seat of the Bishop of Altamura-Gravina-Acquaviva delle Fonti, formed in that year. Previously it was the church of the territorial prelature of Altamura (from 1848, Altamura e Acquviva delle Fonti).

It was built by Emperor Frederick II in 1232, and became one of the most venerated sanctuaries in Apulia. In 1248, under pressure from Frederick, Pope Innocent IV declared Altamura exempt from the jurisdiction of the bishop of Bari, making it a "palatine" church, one of four in Apulia.[1]

The current orientation of the church is opposite to the original one, although it is not known if the change dates to Robert of Anjou's reign (early 14th century) or to the enlargement carried out in 1521-1547. The northern portal dates from Robert's time, while the second bell tower, the altar area and the sacristy were added in the 16th century. From the 18th century are the upper parts of the two bell towers and the small loggia between them.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Palatine churches were exempt from episcopal jurisdiction, and came instead under that of the sovereign, who usually nominated and paid their clergy. The other three palatine churches in Apulia were Acquaviva Cathedral, the Basilica of San Nicola in Bari and the church of Monte Sant'Angelo sul Gargano.

Sources[edit]

  • Blanchard, Paul, 1990: Southern Italy from Rome to Calabria: The Blue Guides, 7th edn., p.345. London: A & C Black

Coordinates: 40°49′39″N 16°33′11″E / 40.82741°N 16.55311°E / 40.82741; 16.55311