Benevento’s Janua Major
The splendid bronze tiles of the Janua Major, the “main door” of Benevento’s Cathedral, tell the story of the life of Jesus.
In the past, these 12th-13th-century masterpieces were attributed to Oderisio of Benevento, a sculptor and caster from the first half of the 12th century – but experts now question such attribution.
The 72 bronze tiles – placed on the two doors in nine 8-tile-wide horizontal lines – were destroyed and lost in September 1943, during a terrible Allied-air-force bombing that spared nothing but the façade of the Romanesque Cathedral (which was rebuilt in the 1960s).
Between the 1980s and 2012, the door was put back, although some three maters further in compared to the original design, and the tiles were restored. They represent episodes of the life of Christ, as well as the city’s metropolitan bishop, 24 suffragan archbishops and four lion heads.
Here is a selection of them in our gallery.