Matera’s wonders: the Cathedral re-opens to the public
The Matera Cathedral – a splendid 13th-century Apulian Romanesque-style building, dedicated to the Madonna della Bruna and Saint Eustace – officially reopened for worship on last March 5th, 2016.
“I am pleased to be here with you, on the occasion of the solemn reopening that gives this beautiful Romanesque cathedral back to the devotion of the faithful and admiration of its visitors, having carried out a delicate restoration over thirteen years, after the collapses of 2003. The church has returned to its former glory, and has been further embellished with the discovery of two ancient frescoed crypts, dating back to the 12th century.”
With these words – in his homily for the inaugural Mass, during which he also opened the Lions’ Door for mercy during the Jubilee – the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, summed up the story of this artistic and religious gem of Basilicata’s most famous city (and European Capital of Culture for 2019)
We have waited thirteen years to admire again the magnificent decorations and 17th-18th-century frescoes, the 13th-century Byzantine painting of the Madonna and Blessing Child, the chapel with 16th-century gemstone Nativity by sculptor Altobello Persio, the walnut choir built in 1453, and all the other magnificent works preserved in this ancient treasure trove of art, Romanesque outside and Baroque inside.
Parolin also mentioned the unexpected surprise that came up during the restoration: while replacing the floor of the Nativity chapel, two frescoed crypts from the 12th century surfaced after probably being covered by renovation works in the 1500s.
Now all of these hidden wonders have been brought back to light.
Opening hours: every day from 9am to 1pm and from 4pm to 7pm.