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Looking out over a beautiful square bordered by the ancient palaces of Asti’s nobility, is the Cattedrale (Cathedral) di Santa Maria, the biggest church in Piemonte and the most important example of Gothic architecture in northern Italy. Along with the Chiesa Battesimale (Baptismal Church) di San Giovanni and the Chiostri dei Canonici (Canonical Cloisters), it forms the “complesso episcopale della Cattedrale” (“Cathedral’s Episcopal complex”). Built in a Lombard-Romanesque style on a three nave plan and covered by a large gallery, it housed, according to the custom of the time, City Council meetings. In 1266, the original bell tower was completely rebuilt with the one we can admire today. Some time after that, the decision was made to modify the Church as well and rebuild it according to the aesthetic canons of the time. In 1354, the work was finished and a stupendous three-nave construction in the lanceolate Gothic style was revealed with predominant vertical lines and pointed arches. A large lateral entrance in a flamboyant Gothic style was added in 1470. The passing of time and the changes in taste did not work in favor of the beautiful cathedral which, during the 17th century, was oddly given a Baroque chapel and repetitive decorations that have little to do with the original architectural rigor and harmony.

Piazza Cattedrale
14100 Asti AT

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