Cattedrale di San Sabino

Cathedral in Bari

Cattedrale Di San Sabino, Bari
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Berthold Werner

King William I of Sicily, also known as Il Malo (“the Wicked”), destroyed the Byzantine cathedral during the sack of Bari in 1156. This act of devastation razed many churches and public buildings, leaving the Basilica of San Nicola as the last one standing. The original church on the cathedral’s site dated back to the 6th century.

The Bari Cathedral, consecrated in 1292, stands as a fine example of Apulia Romanesque architecture, similar to the Basilica of San Nicola. The plain facade is divided into three parts, each accented by two pilasters and featuring a portal. The central part houses the main portal, situated below a large rose window. Above the window is a lintel adorned with carvings of fantastical creatures.

The rebuilt bell tower, constructed from the same stone as the original, features an ornate lantern tower above the Moorish-style dome of the cupola. Inside, the cathedral boasts three aisles, 16 columns, and arcades. The transept, the false women’s gallery, and the rebuilt pulpit are all pure Apulian Romanesque.

The crypt houses relics of Saint Sabinus, brought to Bari in 844. The smaller apse contains two sarcophagi: one for the relics of Saint Columba and another for other sacred artifacts. Adjacent to the cathedral is the Palace of the Curia, which is home to the Diocesan Museum.

The Cattedrale di San Sabino appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Bari!

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Visiting Cattedrale di San Sabino

Address: Cattedrale Metropolitana Primaziale San Sabino, Piazza dell'Odegitria, Bari, Metropolitan City of Bari, Italy
Duration: 20 minutes

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