Trani Cathedral

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West front of Trani Cathedral, with bell tower

Trani Cathedral (Italian: Cattedrale di Trani; Cattedrale di San Nicola Pellegrino) is a Roman Catholic cathedral dedicated to Saint Nicholas the Pilgrim in Trani, Apulia, Italy. Formerly the seat of the archbishop of Trani, it is now that of the archbishop of Trani-Barletta-Bisceglie.

It is a great example of Apulian Romanesque architecture. Construction began in 1099, over the earlier church of Santa Maria della Scala, going back to the 4th century. The relics of Saint Leucius were kept here until the 8th century, when they were translated to Brindisi. The new church was intended to house the relics of Saint Nicholas the Pilgrim (who died in Trani in 1094). The cathedral was dedicated as soon as they were installed, without waiting for the building to be completed.

The decisive stage of construction probably took place between about 1159 and 1186 under the leadership of Bishop Bertrando II, and the building was complete by about 1200, except for the bell tower.

It was built using the local stone of Trani, a typical building stone of the region: a calcareous tuff, obtained from the caves of the city, characterised by its colour, an extremely light pink, almost white.

The cathedral is distinguished by its showy transept and by its use of the high pointed arch in the passage beneath the bell tower, which is unusual in Romanesque architecture.

Sources and external links[edit]

  • Rachele Carrino, 1996: Il mosaico pavimentale medioevale della cattedrale di Trani, in: "XLII Corso di Cultura sull'arte ravennate e bizantina, Ravenna: 1995 (CARB 42)" (pp. 175-214). Ravenna
  • Rolf Legler, 1989 (3rd edition): Apulien (pp.172 et seq). Cologne
  • Trani (in Italian)

Coordinates: 41°16′56″N 16°25′06″E / 41.2822°N 16.4184°E / 41.2822; 16.4184