Cathedral of St Matteo e St Gregorio Magno, Salerno
The cathedral of St. Matthew is a beautiful Roman jewel in the heart of ancient Salerno, seamlessly straddling the past, present and future. The Duomo is dedicated to Matthew the Evangelist, a powerful man who made the decision to follow God.
Visitors are struck at every turn by the ancient beauty and spirituality of this place, founded thanks to the collaboration between two of medieval Campania’s most prominent figures: Archbishop Alfanus I, a cultured man, and the valiant Norman adventurer Robert Guiscard. In his fourth book of Laudi, D’Annunzio wrote: “The people of Salerno hold their moonlit gulf, the Roman arches and the bronze and silver door of Guisa di Landolfo in their hearts”. His words are inscribed on the marble plaque beside the Duomo’s great bronze door: a timeless celebration that captures the visitors’ attention and serves as an introduction to this magnificent journey into history and faith.
Two flights of beautiful baroque stairs provide access to the building, leading to the entrance to the cathedral. The exquisite, antique doorway to the Duomo is flanked on either side by a lion and a lioness; alluding to strength and charity, these figures invite visitors into the quadriportico, where the columns seem to speak of time and space.
The atrium transports visitors back to medieval Salerno. A mosaic of the saint – created using small tiles that give an almost painted effect – is depicted on the internal wall inside the door of the cathedral. The figure is facing outwards; his virtuous, classic expression is characteristic of ancient portraiture, while his divine halo invites silent reflection and confers a sense of warmth.
The Duomo’s medieval, baroque forms take us on a journey into the past, where everything is grand and solemn. The visitor’s gaze is drawn to the bright main apse, while the awesome beauty of the Virgin Mary, bathed in an aura of light, is a feast for the eyes and the soul.
Numerous works of art lie within its walls, including the tomb of pope Gregory VII, the funeral monument of Queen Margaret of Durazzo, the 12th century ambons, the mosaics in the lateral apses and the 8th century paintings.
At the heart of the cathedral is the Crypt, a stunning example of baroque style architecture. Here lie the relics of St. Matthew, whose central location firmly alludes to his centrality to that place.
Weekday: 9,30 – 18,00; Holiday: 16,00 – 18,00
The Cathedral will be closed from 13:00 – 16,00 in addition to Sundays on the following days: Christmas, Easter, January 1, January 6, August 15, November 1, November 2
Opening hours of Cappella del Tesoro
On the 21st of each month: 9.30 – 13.00
User manual Campania Paths of the soul (pdf)
Reference: Don Michele Quaranta
Cattedrale di San Matteo e San Gregorio Magno
Piazza Alfano I – 84125 Salerno
Tel. 089 2583052
Web site: www.cattedraledisalerno.it