Italy

La Spezia

Cathedral of Christ the King



La_Spezia_Cathedral


       

Summary

The Cathedral of Christ the King, La Spezia is a modern distinctive looking circular building constructed predominantly of concrete. Concentrated in 1975 the concept of the design was a move away from the traditional Roman and Greek church design in that it would be circular in shape. The roof is supported by twelve columns signifying the twelve Apostles. In the centre of the roof is large cupola with a diameter of 50 metres.
 


The Cathedral of Christ the King, La Spezia, is a modern, distinctive looking, circular building constructed predominantly of concrete.  Itís grey and white appearance, with no windows, is more in keeping with the design of a concert hall than a cathedral.

In 1929, Pope Pius XI created the Diocese of La Spezia-Sarzana-Brugnato and a competition was announced in order to design a cathedral for the Diocese.  Although a winning entry was chosen, the project was not implemented at that time.  It was postponed until 1956 when a new project was announced.  The original winning entry was never used.  The new project commenced in 1959.  It was finally finished in 1975, when it was consecrated and dedicated to Christ King of the Ages by the Archbishop of Genova. 

The site chosen for the cathedral was on a hilltop which linked the historic districts in the centre of the town with those to the east, where previously had stood a Capuchin friary.

The concept of the design was a move away from the traditional Roman and Greek church design in that it would be circular in shape which signified the shape of the Host in the celebration of the Mass.  Everything in the cathedral faces towards the altar.  Around the spacious interior are twelve columns representing the Twelve Apostles which support the roof.

In the centre of the roof is a large cupola with a diameter of 50 metres.  This, along with the band of stained-glass windows which runs around the perimeter, provide the main source of light to the interior.  The flooring is of white and grey marble which slopes slightly towards the central altar.  The flooring to the presbytery is of red marble and is raised slightly.  The altar is white marble.

The main works of art are a wooden crucifix dating from the 18th century, which is in the centre of the building, and a bronze piece entitled the Disposition of Christ.

Although the cathedral has a Crypt, it is not attached to the cathedral and is in the main street at the same level as the shops.  This contains the tombs of a number of the Bishops.



La_Spezia_Cathedral_InteriorLa_Spezia_Cathedral_organ
Interior showing Cupola Interior with Organ


La_Spezia_Cathedral_FontLa_Spezia_Cathedral_Biships_chair
                Font       Bishop's Chair


La_Spezia_Cathedral_ColumnLa_Spezia_Crucifix_over_Altar
              Columns           Crucifix over Altar



 

Copyright - All  Photographs copyright Ron Gatepain

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