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Trapani

Cathedral of Saint Lorenzo



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Dating back to the 5th century the Cathedral of San Lorenzo (St. Lawrence the Martyr) is the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Trapani and is known simply as Trapani Cathedral. It developed from a church first built on the site in 1421 on the orders of Alfonso the Magnanimous, who was to become King of Naples and Sicily (1442 – 1458).  Over the years the building underwent a number of modifications and its current appearance dates from restoration in the 18th century by the architect Giovanni Biagio Amico. It was during that restoration that the side chapels, the choir, dome, bell tower and todays façade where constructed.  In 1844 Pope Gregory XVI raised it to the status of a Cathedral.

Today the exterior façade and roof show signs of its need for additional restoration by the discolouration of the stone and fading of the roof tiles.

Its interior contains three naves divided by two rows of columns and arches with a number of side chapels along the sides. One of which contains the marble statue of the Madonna of Trapani. On the 16th August each year this is taken in a procession around the streets of the city. 

Baroque in style the cathedral is decorated in neoclassical plasterwork and frescoed vaults.    It has a central dome which is surrounded by four smaller ones all with beautiful ceilings, as in fact are the ceilings throughout the cathedral.   The building contains numerous paintings which depict the major events in the history of the city. In addition, it contains the sculpture of the Dead Christ by James Tartaglia.

Significant work was carried out in the 1990’s. This involved the replacement of the wooden gate, which was showing signs of wear, with a large bronze one. Work was also carried out on the altar, tabernacle, ambo, candlestick, baptismal font and lectern, this work being completed in 1997.

 




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All  Photographs Copyright: Ron Gatepain

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