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BITONTO CATTEDRALE

DI SAN VALENTINO

 

Links to the other Magnificent Cathedrals of Puglia

 

The Wagon Wheel Rose Windows of Puglia's Cathedrals

 

Map and summary notes on Puglia Cathedrals        Detailed Road Map of Puglia

 

BITONTO CATTEDRALE (1100s)

THE WEST (ACTUALLY NORTH WEST) FACADE

 SOUTHERN FACADE

APSE AND EAST END

INSIDE THE CATTEDRALE

THE CRYPT AND MUSEUM UNDER THE NAVE

AND REMEMBER THAT, LIKE EVERYWHERE ELSE IN PUGLIA, BITONTO ENJOYS A LONG LUNCH HOUR

 

PHOTOS OF THE WEST (ACTUALLY NORTH WEST) FACADE

 

 

 

 

Bitonto is the biggest and most sumptuously medieval of the Puglian Cathedrals in itself, its detailing and its setting.  Dating from the 1100s (just after and modelled on the Basilica di San Nicola in Bari), Bitonto Cattedrale has recently emerged from a ten year restoration program which involved inter alia the digging up of the entire nave (right) and creation under the relaid floor of a museum  of the foundations, flooring and artefacts of earlier buildings.

 

This place is so worth it, don't be put off by the total lack of useful road signage.  Cruise around the edge of the medieval town until you find the Piazza Marconi, which has lots of meter parking and is next to the main gate into the narrow-streeted old town.  Walk through the gate into the old town and "sempre dritto" (straight on) - more or less, as the medieval lanes allow - until after five minutes or so you sense the Cattedrale on your right.  If, as is likely, the crypt and museum below the church are locked up, ask someone like Vito Valentino (below) if he will let you in.

 

Lots more photos still to come .....

 

 

PHOTOS OF THE CRYPT AND MUSEUM UNDER THE NAVE

 

This 1000s floor mosaic of a giant Gryphon carrying an ivy leaf is the prize exhibit down below - it is under the west end of the nave and was the floor at the base of a tower in an earlier cathedral.

 

 

A lion beside the main alabaster glazed window in the apse seems to be doing something unspeakable .... (they often are - have a closer look next time you happen on a really old medieval cathedral).

 

PHOTOS OF THE APSE AND EAST END

 

 

A classic Puglian Romanesque wagon wheel rose window in the south transept, with a less than medieval lion at work. 

 

PHOTOS OF THE SOUTHERN FACADE

 

The Wagon Wheel Rose Windows of Puglia's Cathedrals

 

 

In common with most of the Puglian Cattedrali, the nave of Bitonto Cattedrale has 12 massive columns with original capitals, including the odd little fella (below).  The recently restored and repainted beamed roof is magic!   On the right are the font, the pulpit and the ambo

 

PHOTOS OF THE INSIDE OF THE CATTEDRALE

 

 

Sacristan Vito Valentino cheerfully offered to unlock the crypt and excavation areas under the cattedrale, and gave the Dom a lengthy and fascinating guided tour, patiently waiting whilst photos were taken, and taken, and .........

 

 

The crypt, as in most of the Norman Puglian Cathedrals, is located under the transept of the upper church and contains some of the oldest capitals and columns, and some frescos.

 

PHOTOS OF THE CRYPT AND UNDER-CHURCH MUSEUM

 

 

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