Cattedrale di San Lorenzo, Perugia

Cathedral in Perugia

Perugia - Cattedrale Di San Lorenzo
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Undergrowth90

The Duomo di Perugia, also known as the Cattedrale Metropolitana di San Lorenzo, is a Roman Catholic church and the most prominent religious site in Perugia.

Construction and Architecture

  • Construction Timeline: The construction began in 1345 and was completed in 1490. However, the cathedral was not consecrated until 1587.
  • External Decoration: The external decoration in white and pink marble lozenges was never fully completed; a trial section can still be seen on the main façade, which features a Baroque-style portal designed by Pietro Carattoli in 1729.
  • Orientation: Unlike most cathedrals, Perugia’s cathedral has its flank towards the city’s main square. Here, the statue of Pope Julius III by Vincenzo Danti (1555) stands, commemorating him for restoring the local magistrate, previously suppressed by Paul III.

Notable Features

  • Massive Tower: Built between 1606 and 1612.
  • Interior Layout: The 68-foot hall of the church contains three naves of equal height.
  • Sacrament Chapel: Located in the right nave, designed by Alessi (1576), it features the altarpiece of the Pentecost by Cesare Nebbia (1563).
  • Baptistery Chapel: Located in the next bay, it includes a Renaissance perspective view in marble by Pietro di Paolo di Andrea da Como (1477) and the venerated image of Madonna delle Grazie by Giannicola di Paolo, a follower of Perugino.
  • Chapel of St. Bernardino: Enclosed by a 15th-century railing, it houses the most important artwork of the church, a Deposition from the Cross by Federico Barocci (1567–1569).

Artistic Highlights

  • Sacristy: Entirely frescoed by Gian Antonio Pandolfi in the 1570s.
  • Cloister: Houses several architectonic and sculptural fragments, including a head attributed to Giovanni Pisano and a Renaissance bust of the Redeemer.
  • Holy Ring Reliquary: Considered one of the masterpieces of Renaissance goldsmith’s art, kept in the Chapel of San Giuseppe. Perugino’s famous Marriage of the Virgin (1501-1504) originally adorned this chapel, but the work is now housed in the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Caen. It has been replaced by a piece by Gian Battista Wicar from 1825.


The Duomo di Perugia is not only a significant religious site but also a repository of rich historical and artistic heritage. Its construction, spanning over a century, and its incomplete yet beautiful façade tell a story of architectural ambition. The interior, with its magnificent chapels, artwork by renowned artists, and impressive frescoes, offers a deep dive into the art and history of the region. The cathedral stands as a testament to the rich cultural and religious history of Perugia, making it a must-visit destination for those exploring the city.

The Cattedrale di San Lorenzo, Perugia appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Perugia!

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Visiting Cattedrale di San Lorenzo, Perugia


From Monday to Saturday 8.30/12.30 – 15.30/19.30

Sunday and holidays 8.30/12.30 – 15.00/19.00

Address: Cattedrale di San Lorenzo, Piazza IV Novembre, Perugia, Province of Perugia, Italy
Duration: 20 minutes

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