The Ravello Cathedral
More photos - The Ravello Cathedral
Ravello's Duomo dedicated to San Pantaleone is on the central square Piazza del Vescovado where there is a marvellous view on the Dragone valley.
The Cathedral was built between 1806 and 1807 by Ravello's first Bishop Orso Papirio who wanted a similar structure to that of Montecassino Abbey.
The strongest resemblance to the latter is in the three marble classical architrave on the three doors on the façade. The Duomo was gradually completed and modified, notably Barisano da Trani's front door with bronze details was donated by Sergio Muscettola in 1179 asking the divine protection of his family. The bronze icons on the door represent Saints, Passion stories and two mascheroni. Formerly there used to be a porch in front of the façade which was demolished in 1786 when the Duomo was thoroughly refurbished and adjusted to current tastes and fashions. The are only four remaining pillars from the old porch. The steeple dates back to the XIII century, it has two levels and it is covered up by large mullioned windows and intertwined arches. On the inside there are three aisles which are separated by ancient columns and pillars, however the XVIII dramatically changed the interior of the Duomo and removed many of the medieval details which today can only be seen on the transept and the pale spared fresco paintings on the right of the entrance door.
A very relevant feature of the Duomo is the Byzanitine ambone built by Ravello's second bishop Costantino Rogadeo in 1130, as this is one of the only example in Southern Italy.
The mosaics depict biblical events as the death and resurrection of Christ. In front of the ambone there is Niccolò de Bartolomeo's richly decorated pergamo. It was commissioned by Nicola Rufolo in 1272. The marble casket is decorated with mosaics and elegant details, an eagle among other images stands on the rear side of the lettorni. The casket itself is supported by six intertwined columns decorated with mosaics and being carried by roaring lions. The mosaics are made with Syrian tesserae. The access stair to the presbytery is also decorated with mosaics, unfortunately the XIII century wooden triptych under the pergamo was stolen in 1974 and the one is just a copy of the original one.
On the left of the altar there is San Pantaleo's chapel, which was eventually refurbished in 1782, and where an ampulla treasures the Saints holy blood.
On the 27th of July Ravello celebrates the Saint Patron on the day that he was beheaded and awaits to see if the blood liquefies meanin prosperity and luck for the town. From the transept there is the Sacristy access where there are some impressive paintings dated between XIV and XIX together with a collection of parchments. To have an even more thorough idea of the history of the Duomo, the nearby Duomo Museum can be a nice way to end this impressive tour.