Bergamo Cathedral

Description

The Cathedral, or “Duomo”, is located in Piazza Duomo, in the heart of the Old Town: this area was already a sacred place in the V Century B.C., as proved by the underground layers. The building holds numerous treasures, such as the paintings by Giovan Battista Moroni and Andrea Previtali, the Martyrdom of Saint John Bishop by Giambattista Tiepolo, an altarpiece by Carlo Ceresa and some wood and marble inlays by Andrea Fantoni.

However, the most precious item you can admire is the tiara belonged to Pope John XXIII, now Saint John XXIII, who was born in the village of Sotto il Monte, near Bergamo: a sparkling gold headgear decorated with pearls, rubies, diamonds and emeralds, created by the goldsmith Attilio Nani.

The mortal remains of Saint Alessandro Martyr, Bergamo’s patron saint, are kept in an urn inside the high altar. 


Christianism probably came to the land of Bergamo along with the Roman Christian prisoners coming from East and sentenced to work in the iron mines of Seriana Valley: they were the so-called “Damnati ad Metalla”. Once they were freed, the moved and started to worship Saint Vincent from Zaragoza, building several churches including the future Cathedral of Bergamo. This first building, dating back to the VIII Century, survived till the half of the XV Century, when the famous architect Filarete, from Florence, designed a new Latin-cross plan building. However, Bergamo already had its Cathedral dedicated to Saint Alessandro, the city patron saint: therefore, over most of the Middle age the two imposing churches “vied” against each other, until in 1561 the second one was eventually destroyed by the Venetians in order to build the Walls surrounding the Upper Town. Since then, San Vincenzo Cathedral was named Sant’Alessandro and became the only Cathedral in Bergamo. 

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The Cathedral, or “Duomo”, is located in Piazza Duomo, in the heart of the Old Town: this area was already a sacred place in the V Century B.C., as proved by the underground layers. The building holds numerous treasures, such as the paintings by Giovan Battista Moroni and Andrea Previtali, the Martyrdom of Saint John Bishop by Giambattista Tiepolo, an altarpiece by Carlo Ceresa and some wood and marble inlays by Andrea Fantoni.

However, the most precious item you can admire is the tiara belonged to Pope John XXIII, now Saint John XXIII, who was born in the village of Sotto il Monte, near Bergamo: a sparkling gold headgear decorated with pearls, rubies, diamonds and emeralds, created by the goldsmith Attilio Nani.

The mortal remains of Saint Alessandro Martyr, Bergamo’s patron saint, are kept in an urn inside the high altar. 


Christianism probably came to the land of Bergamo along with the Roman Christian prisoners coming from East and sentenced to work in the iron mines of Seriana Valley: they were the so-called “Damnati ad Metalla”. Once they were freed, the moved and started to worship Saint Vincent from Zaragoza, building several churches including the future Cathedral of Bergamo. This first building, dating back to the VIII Century, survived till the half of the XV Century, when the famous architect Filarete, from Florence, designed a new Latin-cross plan building. However, Bergamo already had its Cathedral dedicated to Saint Alessandro, the city patron saint: therefore, over most of the Middle age the two imposing churches “vied” against each other, until in 1561 the second one was eventually destroyed by the Venetians in order to build the Walls surrounding the Upper Town. Since then, San Vincenzo Cathedral was named Sant’Alessandro and became the only Cathedral in Bergamo. 

Not to be missed in this area