THE CATHEDRAL OF SAINT VIGIL
The Cathedral of Trento
Trento`s Cathedral is dedicated to S Vigilio and has ancient origins. There are in fact records that indicate the first church was built on the burial ground of this saint, martyred in the fifth century. It was then enlarged, whilst its present appearance is owed to Bishop Federico Vanga, who entrusted the redesigning of the cathedral to Adam d`Argogno in 1212. The positioning of the church was thanks to his plan. The construction, continued over the centuries by d`Arogno`s descendants, underwent various changes with respect to the original project due both to the churches needs and the changes in construction techniques. The northern facade overlooking the main square features a great artistic richness especially with the Bishop`s door so called because it was used during the Council of Trent by the Bishops coming in processions from the Castle to the Cathedral, as well as a rose window, called the Wheel of Fortune, which allegorically reminds us that a person`s fortune can change from one day to the next. The southern section is far simpler. The facade is dominated by a belfry (the second was left incomplete) whilst in the centre there is a rose window dating back to the end of the 13th century. The absydal section is extremely interesting characterised by its porch, two series of splayed windows and the belfry of S. Romedio, named after him because according to legend when the saint died the bell started to ring of its own accord. Inside there are two aisles and a nave with a transept and a spacious presbytery closed by a large apse and two smaller ones at the sides. The contrast between the Romanesque style and the height of the vaults recalling gothic cathedrals is extraordinary. Two climbing staircases built into the lateral walls lead up to the two bell towers, in the opposite direction to the altar. Amongst the numerous works of art it is worth noting the worshipped wooden statue of Our Lady of Sorrow, some of the altars, a series of canvasses, the Romanesque sculpture (credited to Adam d`Arogno) called the Madonna of the Drowned, at whose feet the bodies of people who drowned in the Adige or the irrigation channels that flowed through the city and funeral monuments of numerous famous political and religious characters were placed. In the southern aisle the Alberti chapel can be found that contains a large crucifix, in front of which, on 4th December 1563 at the end of the Council the decrees of the counterreformation were promulgated. The high Altar with a baroque canopy above, erected in the middle of the eighteenth century with the annulment of the citizens vote during the French siege of 1703, holds the urn with the relics of S. Vigilio. The frescoes, created between the 13th and 15th century, can be attributed to painters from Venetian, Lombardian and late gothic schools and depict classic Christian themes. The palaeochristian basilica can be entered from the northern transept, which an excavation campaign that lasted several years made accessible.
More information about the Cathedral of S.Vigilio on visittrentino.it
Piazza DuomoPh. 0039.0461.980132Opening times6.30am – 12noon / 2pm – 8pm
+39 0461 980132