The Trani Cathedral, a miracle between heaven and earth

Trani, Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta, Puglia

The Trani Cathedral in Apulia was built “where the Adriatic is already a promise of the Ionian Sea, and surrenders its acidic green to a warm, intense blue” in 1099.

Art historian and critic Cesare Brandi, a great fan and connoisseur of the region, dedicated a poetic description to the coastal village and to its wonderful, early-13th century, Romanesque cathedral: “In Trani, the Duomo is as tall as an acropolis, with a tower that almost touches the sky”.

The spectacular building dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta is truly impressive. Brandi dares to define it a miracle: “A miracle has happened. The apparent attraction between sea and sky has led them to coagulate: they achieve the firm color and the solidity of immobile matter, while stone unveils rust and gold, finding an aerial thickness and the path of long reflexes, long and glaucous like a dead ode”.

Brandi continues, “The unknown, sublime architect knew how to get sky and sea to subdue to architecture, as if destroying shapeless natural quality into the perennial unnaturalness of shape” (translated from C. Brandi, “Pellegrino di Puglia”, Bompiani, Milan 2010).

©, ©Aldo Avarello, ©Marianna, ©david herskovits, ©Giorgio Minguzzi, ©Marie-Hélène Cingal, ©

November 1, 2016

The Trani Cathedral, a miracle between heaven and earth

Piazza Duomo
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