Tuesday, 15 November 2011 11:58

Duomo of San Leo

Written by  Manuela Falco
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The Duomo of San Leo, among the most important Romanesque monuments of Romagna, is dedicated to San Leone, patron of the diocese. Its construction is the result of various interventions between the 9
th and 13th centuries. The Duomo is located between the 9th century pre-Romanesque parish church and the bell tower. These buildings were once part of a single Episcopal complex. The church we see today was built in 1173, when the city’s Bishop Valfrerus ordered its construction over the ruins of a 7th-century building, in a declaration of the importance the Episcopal seat of San Leo had assumed. Two busts sit above the entrance portal: on the left is San Leo, on the right, the Bishop Valfrerus, now missing his head.

The Duomo is 36.2 meters long by 18.3 meters wide, composed primarily of sandstone with accents of limestone blocks. One of the church’s defining characteristics is its asymmetry. As is also the case with the parish church next door, the entrance to the Duomo is through a portal located on the side of the building.
The church is three-aisled with three corresponding apses, stone barrel vaults in the transept arms, the choir and the aisles. A groin vault sits over the crossing. Alternating compound piers and classical columns divide the nave from the aisles. These supports carry a rounded arcade in the choir and pointed in the nave. It is one of the oldest examples in Italian architecture of the use of pointed arches to support the nave. The bas-relief decoration of the capitals reproduces the so-called medieval bestiary, with biblically symbolic animals.
The raised presbytery, accessible via a 16th-century stair, includes three aisles divided by two arches carried by columns, at the center of which is a marble colonnette with a Corinthian capital.


Additional Info

  • Address: Via Cavallotti 7, 61018 San Leo
  • Province:
  • Phone: +39 0541 916277
  • Opening Days and Time:
    Apertura annuale
    Ingresso gratuito.
    Orario invernale: dalle 10:00 alle 18:00
    Orario estivo: dalle 09:00 alle 19:00
  • Guided Tour: Per visite guidate contattare l'associazione Rabisch (Tel: +39 338 6357868 - associazione.rabisch@gmail.com) Si offrono visite per gruppi di studenti, adulti e disabili. Guide disponibili in lingue straniere.
  • Recommended Restaurants:
Last modified on Tuesday, 14 February 2012 21:10